July 30, 2006

Damning Photos

Here are pictures of Hezbollah setting up heavy artillery - military targets - in Christian suburbs east of Beirut.

UPDATE: Lots of people in the comments doubt the accuracy of the description of these photos. I cannot vouch for them. There could be any number of mistakes. Or not. (?)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 30, 2006 08:38 AM
Comments

dude why don't you write on everything just not hezbollah side.
and please don't say the usual words... "israel has the right to defend itself"... by killing children.
they have hightech missiles that can go thru windows (yes that accurate), don't tell me bombing the UN, or killing kids in vans are mistakes.
be objective dude.and when you take sources anti hezbollah for God sakes don't get them from US sources or Lebaneses forces(as the political party not the army).that makes you loses all the credibility.

Posted by: Wissam at July 30, 2006 08:47 AM

when you cant attack the evidence, attack the
defendant.

Posted by: TedM at July 30, 2006 08:54 AM

Actually, wissam, it looks like your mind is already made up.

Hezbollah kidnaps Israeli soldiers by crossing the border, then fires endless missiles into Israel - you're OK with that.

What really seems to bother you is that Israel fights back. The Jews of the 21st century aren't like those of the 20th - or even the 7th, are they? These Jews fight back.

And it's so interesting that only when Israel is gaining against Hezbollah do people like you get all hot and bothered. It doesn't bother you a bit, does it, that Hezbollah fires into Israel. Or that Al Qaeda blows Muslims up in Iraq. Nope, it's only when the Jews fight back that you get your dander up.

Posted by: steve miller at July 30, 2006 09:16 AM

Michael,

I doubt these are Hizbullah fighters. I don't know who they are, but don't look like Hizbullah to me.

Posted by: Abu Kais at July 30, 2006 09:21 AM

So Wissam, what do you think of Hizb'Allah setting up artillery in civilian areas?

Posted by: Lizzie at July 30, 2006 09:22 AM

It sounds like Wissam lost his precious.

1) Weapon accuracy. If you're extraordinarily lucky, guided weapons can go through a window. Most of the time they are not that accurate because the real world is not a laboratory.

2) All weapons are not guided weapons. Most munitions are simple iron bombs like an Mk 84. They are governed by ballistics alone.

3) Tough shit. The U.N. forces got what they deserved. You want to provide cover for my enemies? Fine, you pays your money and you takes your chances.

4) Lebanese civilians: It's a tough world. Hezbollah gets its jollies by lobbing rockets into Israel. Okay, enemy civilians are viable military targets. I've got no problem with that on a military level (though it's a waste of munitions when you're actually, you know, under attack). I've got a problem when you do it, then bitch that your civilians get killed. Tough shit. Don't start wars.

Hezbollah and Lebanon are equivalent so far as I'm concerned. The Westphalian nation-state system is predicated on specific areas controlled by nominally sovereign states. If Lebanon is a sovereign state, then the actions of Hezbollah can only occur because one of three states obtains: (1) Hezbollah and Lebanon are the same; (2) Hezbollah is the actual sovereign; or (3) there is no sovereign.

If (1) obtains, then Israel is right to defend itself by any means necessary. If (2) obtains, Israel is right to defend itself. If (3) obtains, then anyone can act to pacify the area because there is no sovereign to defend it. If the Lebanese government is not strong enough to stop Hezbollah then it is not sovereign. The very essence of sovereignty is the monopoly on force within one's borders.

To curtail some people who think they're clever: the fact that everyone (or most people!) in Lebanon don't like Hezbollah doesn't really matter. Those who could take the decision to go to war, did. The consequences are on their heads and they extend to the civilian populations. If the civilians didn't like it, they could take care of Hezbollah themselves (if they really outnumber Hezbollah as much as we are told, then they could do so easily).

If Lebanon can't control its territory, then Israel will.

Posted by: John Jenkins at July 30, 2006 09:28 AM

John Jenkins: It sounds like Wissam lost his precious.

He is a friend of mine. A liberal anti-Hezbollah Shia who wanted peace with Israel a long time ago. Now his country is being torn to pieces. Give him a break!

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 30, 2006 09:31 AM

If the Lebanese government is not strong enough to stop Hezbollah then it is not sovereign.

This is correct.

If the civilians didn't like it, they could take care of Hezbollah themselves

This is not.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 30, 2006 09:33 AM

I tend to give the Israelis the benefit of the doubt, but even to me these pictures don't seem to show anyone setting up artillery or rockets...that looks to me like anti-aircraft weapons, not artillery.

Posted by: Kirk at July 30, 2006 09:38 AM

Hi Michael,

Just what Abu Kais said, these people don't look like Hezbollah-fighters.

I don't deny the fact that Hezbollah often uses civilian areas.
But these gun-enslaved men don't look like Hezbollah-fighters

Posted by: Hollandi at July 30, 2006 09:42 AM

As not only a liberal, but a Jew, I can say that the current war, or conflict, is a terrible thing. I think it is shameless to say that the goal of Israel is to kill children. That is like saying that the goal of the united states was to kill children in WWII since children died during the war.

I heard it put very succintly this morning... Israel is in a tough place, it has an enemy that rejoices when it kill civilians and also is served by Israel killing its own.

The analogy I think fits is this. A child smacks his brother and then when the brother trys to smack him back, he places his sister in the way. He then complains to his mother that the older brother attacked the sister for no reason.

As I have said before, when the international community comes down on Hezbollah for firing into civilian areas as hard as they do when Israel strikes what it believes to be a missile site, I imagine there will be some progress. Not until the international community goes after terrorists will we see progress.

Michael, I have enjoyed reading your work for a long time. While we don't always see eye to eye. You are an honest broker and great reporter. Continue your work.

Posted by: Craig at July 30, 2006 09:51 AM

While I am piling on, that looks to have been an Australian source.

The comment about the precious was related to the odd extra s's at the end of some of the words, nothing substantive.

As to civilians: I think you're wrong, that they could resist if they wanted to (though it would certainly be costly). They don't want it enough to do so. That's fine, in and of itself, you can't ask someone to do something like that because you think it's a good idea. But, when you choose not to, and someone else has to do it, then it will probably be worse.

That picture is not of heavy artillery, though. It is AAA. It looks Russian, but I can't tell what type it is (it looks like a truck-mounted ZU 23-2, but I can't tell from that angle).

The fact that everyone manning it is dressed in civilian clothing though, is pretty damning.

Posted by: John Jenkins at July 30, 2006 09:52 AM

Hizbollah fires hidden rockets at Israel from behind building

MT, are you or any of your fellow travelers familiar enough with Quana that you'd recognize this building?

~~~~~~~

Leaflets Dropped over Lebanon for the last week, especially in towns and cities in the South of Lebanon, [Litani River & South]

courage

Posted by: Dan Rather at July 30, 2006 09:55 AM

Can some of zb'alah'fascists please describe how zb'allah can be discerned?

The very nature of their fighting (civilian clothing and from within civilian areas) are a violation of the basic human rights of the Lebanese people, let alone the many war conventions...

Posted by: yukel101 at July 30, 2006 09:59 AM

John Jenkins,

"1) Weapon accuracy. If you're extraordinarily lucky, guided weapons can go through a window. Most of the time they are not that accurate because the real world is not a laboratory."

So the IDF, who knows this, is ok with using those weapons in densely populated civilian areas.

"2) All weapons are not guided weapons. Most munitions are simple iron bombs like an Mk 84. They are governed by ballistics alone."

Nice. Same comment as 1 above. Exactly what sort of army would use something like this on civilian areas? How is that different than HA's terrorism?

"3) Tough shit. The U.N. forces got what they deserved. You want to provide cover for my enemies? Fine, you pays your money and you takes your chances."

So the HA fighters were firing rockets straight out of the UN bunker that got hit. Give me a break. The bunker was intentionally targeted by some hot-head pilot or artillery crew. They're out of control. The IDF is acting out with emotion and hate. How are they different than terrorists?

"4) Lebanese civilians: It's a tough world. Hezbollah gets its jollies by lobbing rockets into Israel. Okay, enemy civilians are viable military targets. I've got no problem with that on a military level (though it's a waste of munitions when you're actually, you know, under attack). I've got a problem when you do it, then bitch that your civilians get killed. Tough shit. Don't start wars."

Ok, you obviously didn't get enough love from your parents or graduated from psychopath academy or something. You can't lump civilians who live in the same country as HA with HA as equal military targets. I guess you can, but then you're a terrorist.

The point is, the IDF has lost the moral high ground (as it usually does) by attacking civilians. It is no better, indeed worse if you do the math, than HA. The IDF is completely out of control. All they understand is overwhelming force, no matter what the price in collateral damage.

Israel has the right to defend herself. It's all in the way it does this that defines the character of its people and military. There is no honor in indiscriminantly killing civilians, even if you suspect that you'll kill a militant or two. Think of it.

Dude, Israel has already lost this war. And its honor. It is a nation with a terrorist army.

Posted by: Nadim at July 30, 2006 10:08 AM

Nadim, take a good look at the picture. Look at how the men manning the AAA are dressed. If Israel can't tell who are Hezbollah and who aren't, what are their alternatives? Just let Hezbollah attack with impunity?

So the HA fighters were firing rockets straight out of the UN bunker that got hit. Give me a break. The bunker was intentionally targeted by some hot-head pilot or artillery crew. They're out of control. The IDF is acting out with emotion and hate. How are they different than terrorists?

The last time I checked, the U.N. "peacekeepers" wore uniforms (e.g. are military). You pays your money and you takes your chances. The U.N. is enabling Hezbollah. That means they're on the other side. You also have no reason for your accusation other than that you believe it. Yes, war is a sterile exercise and every target hit was hit precisely where and when desired and no mistakes are ever made. Two words: Market Garden.

No, Nadim, I'm not a terrorist or a psychopath (though it's good to know you have no, you know, actual arguments). The civilian population and Hezbollah are comingled. Because Israel can't tell the difference and can't not act, it will kill civilians to kill Hezbollah. Maybe if Hezbollah got out of the civilian areas and offered battle, it would be different. But they won't, and people like you will give them cover by saying that, if they did, they would lose.

So, the logic amounts to, Hezbollah can hide behind women's skirts and snipe at Israel because if they didn't, they would lose and we don't want them to lose because they're not Israel.

Hezbollah are the ones putting civilians in danger, not Israel.

Posted by: John Jenkins at July 30, 2006 10:19 AM

Don't taunt the alligator until after you've crossed the creek

Our coverage is as tight as the rusted lug nuts on a '55 Citroen

Posted by: Dan Rather at July 30, 2006 10:23 AM

Michael,

Great writing as usual and thought folks here might be interested in the following:

In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special “megaphone” software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate.

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,20411-2289232,00.html

Does anyone know where to download it or what the best version is?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Dave H. at July 30, 2006 10:56 AM

In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special “megaphone” software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate.

A fascinating story. The Isrealis have missed a trick though. Instead of "Yossi from Tel Aviv" preaching to the crowd, I (and I'm speaking as a PR professional) would create one of four different persona for my "cyber soldiers" (as the times calls them) to adopt:

1) The bombed out resident of an Israeli town. This would need to be used sparingly, but I'd employ this on any US liberal blogs and sites that seem to be wavering

2) An Israeli Arab saying how he now is against Hez due to bombings on Nazareth etc. Good for Arab sites

3) A Western European evacuated from Lebanon. The line from him / her would be - I've talked to many Lebanese and they all blame Hez

4) A Lebanese. Yes indeed, to do the job properly, the Psy-Ops guys need to send people out to pretend to be Arabs saying how everyone in their neighbourhood is anti-Hezbollah

Sorry, a bit off topic, but maybe some interesting thoughts from a professional point of view

Posted by: UK PR Man at July 30, 2006 11:29 AM

I cannot endorse these sort of tactics. I put my name and face to my writing and everyone else should as well if it won't put them in danger.

If you go around creating fake identities, people with real identities will also be suspected as fake.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 30, 2006 11:47 AM

For those of you who make an argument like this:

1. Israeli weapons are very accurate
2. Israelis kill women and children
3. Therefore, Israelis are killing women and children on purpose

You are confusing two issues: the accuracy of weapons and human error. They are two different things entirely. When Hizb launches a missile at Israel, Israel fires at the launch site - with accuracy. They don't know what's on the other side. They have to trust that Hizb won't endanger civilians. Also, there are just, you know, mistakes. Israelis have already died in this war from friendly fire. What do you say to that? The bloodthirsty out-of-control Israelis are killing their own soldiers on-purpose?

Posted by: Yafawi at July 30, 2006 12:01 PM

Michael,

"If you go around creating fake identities, people with real identities will also be suspected as fake."

But even the author of the article and pictures you linked to is "fake". There doesn't seem to exist a real journalist by the name of "Chris Link" who writes for the Herald or any other Murdoch publication. But does that make the message any less credible?

Posted by: Dave H. at July 30, 2006 12:11 PM

So the fighers in this picture are not clearly designated as Hezbollah, they can be PFLP-GC more than anything else.

The area that picture was taken cannot be identified, it could be in Wadi Chahrour, it could be in Naameh.

The newspaper says there are rocket launching pads (which to some extent would justify an Israeli strike) however no rockets nor launching pads are shown in the pictures.

What more do you need to doubt the veracities of such a report?

Posted by: Lira at July 30, 2006 12:30 PM

Fake pictures.

The man in the first pisture is most likely not Muslim and certainly NOT Hezbollah.

Notice the bracelet?

Case closed.

Michael, I suggest you examine your propaganda more closely in the future.

Posted by: Reza at July 30, 2006 12:35 PM

Listening to Annan making pompous speeches about how this must end now, code for Israel roll over, and wondering about why I can't remember his pronouncements to THE WORLD demanding immediate end to the deaths in the Congo, at 500, at 100,000 at 1 million, not even at 2 million, I realise that there are no great honours for Annan in the Congo. Just as UN troops in the Congo killing women and children without warning is not a matter of concern for him or the world. The hypocrisy.

I would also ask this of those who might know. It seems that the Hizbollah both tightly controls and is fully informed about the areas they choose to operate in. As such, there would be no doubt that they Knew who was in that building when they fired alongside, and what the Israeli response would be.

THE ISRAELIS WOULD NOT. HIZBOLLAH WAS NOT USING THEM AS A SHIELD, THEY WERE LITERALLY DESIGNATED TO BE CANNON FODDER.

Such a barbaric, cynical, contemptous killing of the people of Qana must rate up there with the great monsters of our time.

But Annan, and of course the French blaim the Israelis. The French couldn't be that dumb.

While Michael has considerable sympathy for the Lebanese, is it the position of the world that they have no influence over their government, and hence the notion of a democracy is a chimera. If they do have influence they better get them to stop blaming everyone else, Annan himself reported them in 2005 ordering the Army to allow passage of a truck convoy of weapons from Syria to Hizbollah, and deny the Hizbollah state, which not within rather over the state of Lebanonon.

Particularly as the tragedy of Qana tells them exactly what Hizbollah has in mind for the people of Lebanon if they no longer have to bother with a PR exercise re their governing of Lebanon.

They are shooting those who disagree with them, there are indications that they are stopping people from getting away. We offered them a lift but they were too poor to move? They were kids and invalids, so the others left them behind?

Hizbollah knew exactly what they were doing to these people, it is inescapably a deliberate killing of them, why is the world so frightened about confronting them on it. They are monsters, whatever Michael says about "outsiders" not understanding and hence by implication not having the right to judge.

Just listening to a discussion of the mental state of President A, and his promises for this current fight, secret devastating weapons. If we force the Israelis to roll over now because our moral compasses are disturbed, and we are too frightened of Hizbollah, we may be ensuring that some time soon we will never be able to look at each other again without shame.

Posted by: Ros at July 30, 2006 01:02 PM

I cannot endorse these sort of tactics. I put my name and face to my writing and everyone else should as well if it won't put them in danger.

If you go around creating fake identities, people with real identities will also be suspected as fake.

For sure Michael, I agree it isn't necessarily right. I was looking at it more from a hypothetical point of view of what's effective

Posted by: UK PR Man at July 30, 2006 01:09 PM

Ros: They are monsters, whatever Michael says about "outsiders" not understanding and hence by implication not having the right to judge.

That's not at all what I said.

I was referring to a sneering European fool who got mad at Israelis when he learned that Hezbollah kills Arabs.

It's not Israel's fault that Hezbollah kills Arabs. If he's going to get mad at Israelis for breaking this news to him, he shouldn't be a journalist who covers the Middle East. He doesn't know the first damn thing about this conflict.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 30, 2006 01:13 PM

Ros: They are monsters, whatever Michael says about "outsiders" not understanding and hence by implication not having the right to judge.

That's not at all what I said.

I was referring to a sneering European fool who got mad at Israelis when he learned that Hezbollah kills Arabs.

It's not Israel's fault that Hezbollah kills Arabs. If he's going to get mad at Israelis for breaking this news to him, he shouldn't be a journalist who covers the Middle East. He doesn't know the first damn thing about this conflict.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 30, 2006 01:14 PM

"IDF continuing to check difficult incident at Qana village, and attempting to account for strange gap between time of the strike on the building – midnight – and eight in the morning, when the building collapsed "

Posted by: Ros at July 30, 2006 01:19 PM

Michael said: It's not Israel's fault that Hezbollah kills Arabs.

Michael, as another reminder: It is Israel that killed those 60 people today.

Thanks

Posted by: Lira at July 30, 2006 01:39 PM

With the exception of the guy holding the silver rifle, the people in the other two photos are clearly not lebanese. They are most likely palestinians. It's very easy to distinguish them based on physical features and clothing.

Michael, you who spent such long time in Lebanon should know that these people look nothing like Lebanese, even if they were Hezbollah.

Undated, anonymous pictures on an australian website can hardly be considered "damning evidence". Instead of parroting pro-israeli propaganda Michael, at least show some concern for the people you lived with, and who are being butchered on a daily basis. Until now over 750 civilians have been murdered, chances are some of them were you friends.

Posted by: Appaled lebanese at July 30, 2006 01:41 PM

Lira,

I wasn't referring to Qana, I was referring to rocket attacks on Haifi which is mixed Jewish/Arab.

Appalled Lebanese,

I cannot tell the difference between Lebanese and Palestinians as easily as you can. Sorry.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 30, 2006 01:50 PM

thanks michael.
for all the people who think I am pro hezbollah...sorry to disapoint you I AM NOT.
the biggest mistake hezbollah did was capturing the soldiers. and now lebanon pays the price.
but when you look at what is israel doing to our civilians, and if I have to pick a side... which side would I take? the one that is killing civilians in my country and bombing everything next to me?
when you hear bombs dropping not so far from you and you know people are dying from each boom that you hear all night long.
I am sorry to say but every shred of curiosity toward israely people that I had is gone.
you can ask michael, I was really interested in israelies, I was reading their blogs getting to know them because I knew sooner or later we would have peace. but now...
NO THANKS.
hmm hearing the planes now over beirut they will probably bomb soon...and I bet not hezbollah.

Posted by: Wissam at July 30, 2006 02:01 PM

Palestinians, another militia group that the Lebanese government agreed under resolution 1559 to disarm. They work independently of Hizbollah? Maybe the Palestinian organisers aren’t as good at threatening and destroying any photos that might show how they treat Lebanese as cannon fodder.

Australian newspapers as well. But headlines here were Palestinian and Lebanese demonstrators shouting we want peace and carrying Hizbollah flags, plus banners attacking Jews not Israelis, calls for Mel Gibson to be Prime Minister, then physically attacking our Prime Minister in Perth. Has gone down a treat.

However I am in danger of becoming a troll, and being a bit unpleasant because getting angry, so will desist after this comment.

“US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been told by Lebanese officials to stay away from Beirut and that no talks would be held until there was an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.
"There is no place on this sad morning for any discussion other than an immediate and unconditional ceasefire as well as an international investigation into the Israeli massacres in Lebanon now," Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told a news conference in Beirut.”

Way to go Siniora, Hizbollah is blameless when it makes of your citizens cannon fodder. No international investigations into your overlords required. Threaten Israel as a means of getting them to stop. Always worked before. And refuse to talk to the US. Is he actually a Hizbollah hand puppet? Nasrallah obviously thinks so as he claims that he advised the Lebanese government several times that Hizbollah plans were to kidnap Israeli soldiers to get back the Shaba Farms and to get back the psycho who smashes little girls heads with a rifle butt. Israeli child so clearly not a crime against children.

Siniora has decided, as most Lebanese politicians do, to go where the money is. And Nasrallah has said that he is going to kill Wahid Jumblatt, code but Jumblatt understood, so that must be good too.

Fool.

As for the “international community” I think what we will get from them is best described by borrowing from Winston Churchill.

Winston pondering what would happen if England's patron saint, George, were alive today, and required to go out and slay an actual dragon to save an actual damsel in distress:
"St. George would arrive in Cappadocia accompanied, not by a horse, but by a secretariat. He would be armed, not by a lance, but by several flexible formulas... He would propose a conference with the dragon. He would then lend the dragon a lot of money. The maiden’s release would be referred to Geneva or New York, the dragon reserving all rights meanwhile."

Of course there are moves in the UK to delete St George because he is associated with being mean to Islam.

Fools.

Posted by: Ros at July 30, 2006 02:15 PM

After two weeks of listening to Arabs shriek about "Israelis killing children", when it is repeatedly shown...repeatedly, unambiguously, shown...that Hezbollah DELIBERATELY fires from civilian areas SO THAT civilians will be killed...and never acknowledging this fact...I just...I don't...I just have to give up. I can't force myself to sympathize with people plagued by such cognitive dissonance. Sorry.

Posted by: popskull at July 30, 2006 02:22 PM

I said no more but I would be interested in your thoughts Michael about Nasrallah’s ambitions. It seems to me from the direct attacks on Christians and Druze, or indirect by drawing Israeli fire on to them, that Nasrallah doesn’t see the return of the Shaba Farms as an end game for him in Lebanon. This is an opportunity for positioning to take over Lebanon. And Jumblatt and co won’t go quietly to slaughter as Nasrallah would know. So when the Lebanese and the international community sell out Israel, Nasrallah is not just the big hero, he is the boss and he wants all parts of Lebanon to be under his direct control. He declares war on Israel as the overlord of Lebanon and then he will start the civil war. Which should be, with the expansion of his troops and control across Lebanon fairly short. Then will come the executions.

And Syria gets its revenge.

Posted by: Ros at July 30, 2006 02:39 PM

Re Palestinians in Lebanon
Interesting turnabout. Raises the question of what else they may be up to, though.

Posted by: jdwill at July 30, 2006 04:05 PM

The "hiding among civilians" myth

Posted by: Abu Kais at July 30, 2006 04:14 PM

A quick check on the source .

Current News & Politics
Revoltin' Bolton Returned to face the Senate that failed to confirm him the first time, U.N. ambassador John Bolton could barely contain his contempt. By Michael Scherer
The "hiding among civilians" myth Israel claims it's justified in bombing civilians because Hezbollah mingles with them. In fact, the militant group doesn't trust its civilians and stays as far away from them as possible. By Mitch Prothero
Is Israel facing a quagmire? As many as 14 Israeli troops were killed by Hezbollah forces Wednesday, raising the specter of a grinding guerrilla war Israelis don't want. By Matthias Gebauer
Psychological warfare Angered that their professional organization has adopted a policy condoning psychologists' participation in "war on terror" interrogations, many psychologists are vowing to stage a battle royal at the APA's annual meeting. By Mark Benjamin

Jeez. See a pattern here?

Posted by: jdwill at July 30, 2006 04:27 PM

Re "hiding"

A little further to look at a discussion of the Mitch Prothero article .

bags these counter arguments:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/28/world/middleeast/28refugees.html?ref=middleeast
http://ussneverdock.blogspot.com/2006/07/lebanon-hiding-among-civilians-myth.html

In this day of the internet and blogs, credibility is everything. Mitch Prothero just lost his.

Isn’t the web a great thing?

Posted by: jdwill at July 30, 2006 04:39 PM

Re: the "hiding among civilians" myth

Interesting article...read it yesterday. I must balance that single source with the multiple sources claiming that HA is indeed hiding among civilians. I'll go every time with precedent (this is a typical Arab tactic, to involve civilians in retaliatory bloodshed for media ops) and number/variety of other reports (purportedly from Lebanese Christians and Muslims claiming that Hezbollah is hiding behind civilian skirts.)

Come to think of it, Michael linked yesterday to a Lebanese blogger site which contained just such reports damning HA.

Sorry, Abu Kais. Ain't gonna work.

@jdwill: While I see where you're going, I'm personally uncomfortable assuming that because a set of stories from a source (in this case, Salon) seem slanted, that any particular report is. This Prothero guy, at least in the article referenced, seems to hold no sympathy for HA. He's simply reporting what he's told. And frankly, it sounds plausible. It's simply outweighed radically by the plausibility and number of counter-reports which decisively indict Hezbollah for the deaths of Lebanese civilians.

Posted by: popskull at July 30, 2006 04:57 PM

Popskull,

1. If I'm going to even read an article, I check the out the setting if I'm unfamiliar with it, and then search the author’s name to get a flavor. This is not definitive, but you have to filter a lot of information on the web and track records matter.

2. Plus, from the guy’s own bio:
I work all over the Middle East/Central Asia and other places where dudes with beards wave guns and express skepicism about western culture. I shoot and write for different people. I also like cake.

I did a double take on the 'shoot' in that context, but he is a shutterbug after all.

Posted by: jdwill at July 30, 2006 05:31 PM

Yeah, I see what you're saying about filtering information. I try to, but my strategy tends to be quantity and diversity of reports first. A whorish strategy, I grant you, but Lord...I cannot spend absolutely all day every day on researching the Israeli/Lebanon crisis. (Well, I, uh...mean I can't continue to do so.)

Eventually I'll get around to checking out the motives of particular writers once they interest me. I take it, though, that we're both on the same page re the "OMG why Isreali killing all baby Arab children on Intarweb!!!" meme: it's completely dishonest and must be constantly refuted.

Posted by: popskull at July 30, 2006 05:53 PM

Popskull,

Yes, this weekend is gone, and I’ve let other tasks slide.

On wild and emotional rhetoric: I spent a huge amount of time last week reading on Lebanese blogs. I also had some good dialog. I had been rooting for them since the March 14 demonstrations. To my dismay, initial reactions that seemed to get it – Hezbollah screwed us - deteriorated in two days to discussing only Israel’s overreaction and then worse. This was before it was truly an overreaction in my estimation, now its murkier. I am very discouraged because I see no way out if the Middle East continues to propagandize itself into irrational perception of reality. Just search +Qana, +Holocaust. This link http://leb.net/qana/ pops to the top of 27,000 hits. I don’t know how we are going to overcome that. I fear a larger war because of this turning.

Posted by: jdwill at July 30, 2006 06:17 PM

So the IDF, who knows this, is ok with using those weapons in densely populated civilian areas.

I know that a lot of people in the middle east seem to have trouble understanding the Geneva Conventions, or why they were written, and why abiding by them is important, but as a matter of fact, if someone makes an attack on a military target and some civilians are harmed in the process, the responsible party is whoever put the military target in proximity to the civilians, not whoever made the attack.

Think I'm making it up? Go read the Geneva Conventions. The relevant part is Protocol 1, Chapter II, Article 51.

[...]

Dude, Israel has already lost this war. And its honor. It is a nation with a terrorist army.
-Nadim

You are the one who has Hizbullah launching rockets at civilian targets and claiming to be doing it on Lebanon's behalf.

Why do you allow such things to be done in your name?

Posted by: rosignol at August 1, 2006 03:45 AM

i'm not surprised of the ignorance that israely people suffer from..i don't blame u guys 4 being ignorant and having illusions dat one day u will win..Disarming hezbollah is our issue why can't u understand dat??the attack on lebanon was planned before the soldiers were kidnapped..israel used this issue as a reason to "DEFEND ITSELF"...what a reason!!!anyway israel did a very good job in killing innocent children and in commiting crimes against our population...we will turn our south land to a semetary for israely soldiers inchallah :D...best regards to sayyed hassan naroullah...WE ARE ALL WITH YOU HEZBOLLAH...MAY GOD BE WITH YOU..WE WILL WIN INCHALLAH>>ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL

Posted by: LEBANON _|_ israel at August 10, 2006 05:59 AM

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