August 05, 2006

Hezbollahland Photo Gallery

Lebanon is a beautiful country, and Beirut is a beautiful city. (If you don’t believe me, see here and here.) Hezbollah-occupied Lebanon, though, isn’t so great -- especially now.

Last year I took dozens of photos of Hezbollah’s miniature state-within-a-state, along the border with Israel and in the suburbs, the dahiyeh, south of Beirut.

The photos of Beirut’s southern suburbs are not very good quality. Taking pictures in the dahiyeh is absolutely forbidden. I did not dare raise my camera and click the shutter except through the windshield from inside a moving car. Even then I had to be careful.

Here is what Hezbollahland looked like before the war. Much of what you see here has since been destroyed.

Dahieh1.jpg

The portrait of a “martyr” killed in battle with Israel above the sidewalk can be seen in the upper left corner. Off-center is a portrait of the cleric Moussa Sadr, who came to Lebanon from Iran in the 1960s and brought the Shia out of political isolation. He later vanished forever in Libya.


Dahieh2.jpg

Another “martyr” portait above the sidewalk on the left.


Dahieh3.jpg

The Ayatollah Khomeini makes an appearance.


Dahieh4.jpg

Notice that Hezbollah does not require women to wear the hijab, the modest Islamic headscarf. They are, to an extent, “moderate” compared with the regime in Iran.


Dahieh5.jpg

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad makes an appearance.


Dahieh6.jpg

More “martyrdom” posters.


Dahieh7.jpg

The “martyrs” are everywhere in the dahiyeh.


Dahieh8.jpg

Most of the dahiyeh consists of apartment blocks, many of which have since been destroyed.


Dahieh9.jpg

More apartment blocks in the Hezbollahland suburbs.


Dahieh10.jpg

And still more…


Beaufort from Below.jpg

Beaufort castle sits at the top of a small mountain in South Lebanon where you can see into Israel. Hezbollah uses it as one of their border watch posts.


Hezbollah Flag on Beaufot.jpg

A Hezbollah observation post on top of Beaufort.


Beaufot Outpost Banner.jpg

A few tourists did actually visit this castle before it was engulfed in a war zone. Hezbollah put up this banner for them.


Military Media.jpg

They do like to fashion themselves as media savvy.


Israel 1.jpg

Further south from Beaufort…you can walk right up to Israeli houses without leaving Lebanon. This town pictured above, Metulla, is inside Israel. Look closely at the bottom of the picture and you can see the fence that demarcates the border.


Israel House.jpg

That house is inside Israel. Hezbollah controlled the territory I stood on when I snapped the picture.


Down Into Israel.jpg

Everything you see in this picture is inside Israel, taken from a Lebanese road along the fence.


Israel and Lebanon.jpg

Here’s how crazy the border is. The town in the foreground, Metulla, is inside Israel. The town in the background, Kafr Kila, is in Lebanon. You might think you would have to stand inside Israel to take a picture such as this one. How else would you get a picture of a Lebanese town behind an Israeli town? But you can, because I did. That Israeli town is inside a “penninsula,” or a finger, that juts into Lebanon. It is surrounded by Hezbollah-controlled territory on three sides.


Khomeini in South.jpg

Iran’s dead tyrant Ayatollah Khomeini makes repeated appearances in the south.


Propaganda Billboard in South.jpg

On the road beneath Beaufort Castle the story of suicide bomber Haitham Dbouq is told next to his portrait. "Haitham stormed into the convoy -- that had 30 occupation troops in its ranks -- blowing up his car amidst the vehicles that turned into fireballs and scattered bodies on the ground. Thirty Zionist casualties was the size of the material shock that hit the occupation army; the morale shock was much larger and more dangerous."


Martyr Poster in South.jpg

Portraits of "martyrs" killed in battle with Israel line the streets and the roads.


Border Poster.jpg

Hezbollah says they love peace. Yet they erect billboards like this one all over the south.


Border.jpg

The border. Israel is on the left side. Lebanon is on the right side.


Israel from Road.jpg

The road pictured above is inside Lebanon. The scenery in the background is all inside Israel.


Walking Toward Fatima Gate.jpg

Walking toward Fatima’s Gate, the place where tourists from all across the Middle East go and throw rocks into Israel.


Fatima Gate.jpg

The old Israeli custom’s house at Fatima’s Gate. It was open six years ago when Israel still occupied South Lebanon. Lebanese commuted to jobs inside Israel through the gate. It has been closed since 2000.


Israel Through Fence.jpg

Israel through the fence near Fatima’s Gate.


Two Satans.jpg

“Monuments” of sorts to the two Satans. The United States is the Great Satan. Israel is the Little Satan.


Charity Donation Box.jpg

Here is where you donate money to Hezbollah’s charity operations.


Resistance Donation Box.jpg

Here is where you donate money to Hezbollah’s military operations.


Khiam 2.jpg

Near the entrance to Khiam prison. Until the year 2000, the prison was run by the South Lebanese Army, a Lebanese Christian ally of Israel, inside the occupation zone. Earlier reports from the war said the prison is now destroyed.


Khiam 1.jpg

Khiam was a “tourist” destination of sorts. But it was no place to go if you weren’t in a grim mood already. It wasn’t Disneyland.


Khiam 3.jpg

A lovely exercise yard at Khiam.


Khiam 4.jpg

This ought to be self-explanatory.


Split Village from Distance.jpg

The Alawite village of Al-Ghajar. This is where last November’s round of fighting erupted. The left side of the village is in Israel. The right side of the village is in Lebanon. Both sides of the village formerly belonged to Syria.


Split Village.jpg

The Israeli side of Al-Ghajar. The Lebanese side is a wreck. I mistakenly neglected to take pictures of it.


Border Tomb.jpg

The tomb of the disputed dead man. Lebanon says Sheik Abbad is buried there. Israel says, no, Rabbi Ashi is buried there. The border runs right down the center of his tomb. That’s an Isareli military compound just on the other side of it


Border Posts.jpg

On the right side is an Israeli listening and watch post. On the left side is Hezbollah’s feeble imitation.


Hezbollah Billboard Directed Toward Israel.jpg

This billboard was erected by Hezbollah three feet from the border. The text is in Hebrew, and it faces directly into Israel. It says: "Sharon Don't Forget. Your Soldiers Are Still in Lebanon."


Severed Head.jpg

Look closely. That’s a severed Israeli head held up by its hair.


Military Stuff in South.jpg

Hezbollah placed military museum pieces all over the towns in the south just to show them off.


Children on Tank.jpg

Children play on one of the tanks.


Hezbollah Jeep.jpg

A blasted truck placed ten feet from the border.


Hezbollah Logo.jpg

The Hezbollah logo and flag on the front of the truck.

Post-script: I am getting on a plane and heading to Tel Aviv as quickly as possible, hopefully within a few days. No more armchair blogging for me. Please hit the PayPal link and help me buy airfare. I can't do this for free, and you deserve better than mere links and long-distance op-ed analysis.

If you would like to donate money for travel expenses and you don't want to use Pay Pal, you can send a check or money order to:

Michael Totten
P.O. Box 312
Portland, OR 97207-0312

Many thanks in advance.

All photos copyright Michael J. Totten

Posted by Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 04:16 PM
Comments

The city looks like a dump. Bombing could only have improved it. Israel should send the Lebanese a bill for the much needed demolition services.

Posted by: Richard at August 5, 2006 05:12 PM

There are some horrible masons in Hezbollah land.

Posted by: mishu at August 5, 2006 05:15 PM

great stuff. look forward to onsite analysis

Posted by: konaman at August 5, 2006 05:33 PM

Sorry, Michael, I cannot contribute. I like your writing, but I refuse to help anyone commit to a suicide mission. Oh that's right, I forgot! You are going to Israel where you will be safe, not to the Land of the Hizbollah killers.

Posted by: Charles_in_Texas at August 5, 2006 05:41 PM

A check is on the way because I respect the way you drill down to the heart of the matter. And because I can get an honest report no matter what. Hope you can grab a cup of Nancy's coffee on the way to the airport. Sorry the check can't be much. You heard about that housing bubble collapse? Well that's me lying at the bottom of that pile of empty custom homes with my tool bags perilously close to my neck. This is the third downturn I've seen, but it'll be the worst. I'll be just fine though, at least compared to the good people living where you're headed.

Posted by: allan at August 5, 2006 05:50 PM

Uh, Charles? There's no way into Lebanon right now.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 05:50 PM

Oh, and thanks Alan!

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 05:51 PM

That's some beautiful country around the border. When I was a child I remember my parents and I driving right up to the UNIFIL border post. We were "stupid Americans" for doing it and my dad really wanted a picture with a peacekeeper, but I'll always remember the Israeli ships off the coast and the desert hills.

Posted by: Me at August 5, 2006 05:52 PM

Does that mean you'll contribute twice as much, Charles in Texas, to make up for your snarky comment?

Posted by: NahnCee at August 5, 2006 05:57 PM

Michael, in the torturing/whipping photo's, who was torturing/burying/whipping whom?

Posted by: NahnCee at August 5, 2006 06:04 PM

i'll make a donation

Posted by: avneron at August 5, 2006 06:10 PM

Go safely, Michael.

Posted by: MentalFloss at August 5, 2006 06:25 PM

Have fun, Michael! As soon as I'm done being a penniless university student, I'll start donating. Your reporting (like your opinion and analysis) are certainly valuable. My dad and brother are in Tel Aviv right right now (actually I was supposed to go with them!) Perhaps you guys will run into each other.

Bon voyage! And stay safe.

Posted by: Daphne at August 5, 2006 06:28 PM

Wonderful pictures, by the way. And a little startling. Replace the guns, tanks, rockets, and military outposts with technology companies, and the Lebanon-Israel border would look almost exactly like my native Silicon Valley!

Posted by: Daphne at August 5, 2006 06:32 PM

Michael,
This is not reporting.
This is picture taking with your biases added.
Put out your hand, beggar, but don't call it reporting.
Please answer who was doing the torture in that prison.

Posted by: PayYourWay at August 5, 2006 06:40 PM

Charles in Texas makes a good broader point.

Western journalists (your Guardian types) scurrying around Gaza looking for evidence of Israeli wickedness usually scurry back to Israel when kidnappings, shootings and firebombing of embassies start. (That’s not a cheap shot at you Michael)

Posted by: Joe Marino at August 5, 2006 06:40 PM

Michael:
This is not reporting.
This is picture taking with your biases added.
We should pay for what value added?
Put out your hand, beggar, but don't call it reporting.
Please answer who was doing the torture in that prison.

Posted by: PayYourWay at August 5, 2006 06:41 PM

And not very good or informative photos at that.

Posted by: PayYourWay at August 5, 2006 06:42 PM

This is not a comment.
It is a Haiku with your biases added.
Too afraid to martyr yourself.
So you stalk Michaels blog.
Please answer who is firing rockets from civilian structures?

And then I'll tell you who was "doing the torture in that prison".

Posted by: PayYourGay at August 5, 2006 06:59 PM

Just google it damn it

http://www.inminds.co.uk/khiam-prison.html

Posted by: MR google at August 5, 2006 07:00 PM

The gun on the Hezbollah flag is pretty ominous, but at least its not a severed head.

Posted by: Johnny Eck at August 5, 2006 07:16 PM

Nahncee: Michael, in the torturing/whipping photo's, who was torturing/burying/whipping whom?

The (Christian) South Lebanese Army tortured (etc) suspected Hezbollah members.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 07:19 PM

PayYourWay is banned for trolling.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 07:20 PM

Yeah head back to Israel with your beloved civilised Israelis who have killed 900 Lebanese (and counting), at least 300 children among them. True Silicon Valley civilization !!!
This what I just read is not commentary, it is just biased BS.

Posted by: david at August 5, 2006 07:27 PM

David also is banned for trolling.

Anyone else?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 07:28 PM

Golly Gee Willikers Michael. :-(

Posted by: Mr. Peepers at August 5, 2006 07:36 PM

That tank looks russian. If so, how did it end up in S. lebanon? Syrian army? PLO? Can any thank expert around settle this?

Posted by: ZaphodBeebleox at August 5, 2006 07:37 PM

"Uh, Charles? There's no way into Lebanon right now"

Heh. I can think of one way. Good luck with the trip and don't hesitate to snap any photo's of hot Israeli's. (like the original lebanon trip, gotta keep it fair and balanced)

Posted by: mike at August 5, 2006 07:38 PM

David also is banned for trolling.
Anyone else?
--MJT

Disproportionate Response !!! --- :-)

Geez, I could not possibly do your job here, my friend. I have a very low boiling point and my tolerance for tendentious simpletons has always been almost non-existent. And you are collecting a batch of them recently , two of them on this thread alone.

Is there a secret to just not losing it ?

Posted by: dougf at August 5, 2006 07:45 PM

The picture with the caption "The border. Israel is on the left side. Lebanon is on the right side" reminds me of my experience going between West and East Germany in the early 1980s. Cultivated and well maintained land on one side, a ragged uncared for orchard on the other. One would think that with the example of Israeli agriculture staring them in the face, the Lebanese would try to imitate them and do better for themselves. Maybe it's not possible. From The Gates of Vienna, http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2006/08/welfare-state-is-dead-long-live.html, "A [Danish] study found that every other immigrant from the Third World -- especially from Muslim countries -- lacked the qualifications for even the most menial jobs in the organized Danish labor market."

Posted by: Paul at August 5, 2006 07:55 PM

Paul,

The rest of Lebanon is well-cultivated.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 07:59 PM

Is there a secret to just not losing it ?

Anonymous jerks on the Internet have nothing to do with my life and can be made to go away with the click of the mouse...

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 08:00 PM

Michael,

Thank you for the pictures. They're quite informative, and I haven't seen anything like them anywhere else.

There seem to be an awful lot of wires in South Beirut. Is stealing electricity commonplace? Does Hezbollah simply blow off its electric bills?

How far is the Hezbollah area of Beirut from the shiny new downtown that Hariri developed?

Off topic question:

Does the ceasefire resolution in the UN Security Council put the seal on an Israeli defeat? I can't see how this is good news for Israel. Yet the IDF has not yet gotten a full-scale ground offensive going. I still can't fathom the Israeli strategy. Did they really expect to win from the air alone?

Posted by: Hal at August 5, 2006 08:16 PM

How far is the Hezbollah area of Beirut from the shiny new downtown that Hariri developed?

Three miles at most. Beirut is small.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 08:19 PM

Of the photography that you show, are [were] these locations on view for any visitor? As "media savvy" as the Hezbollah are said to be (or try to be), some of these displays hardly play toward pleasing Western attitudes.

Posted by: Johnny Eck at August 5, 2006 08:34 PM

The billboard of the suicide bomber is the saddest - and most frightening - thing I've seen.

Posted by: minnesotan at August 5, 2006 08:42 PM

Has anyone done a dissection of Hezbollah's logo? What are the parts? What does each mean?

Posted by: The Scrutinator at August 5, 2006 08:47 PM

are [were] these locations on view for any visitor?

Yep. I had no Hezbollah guide, ever. Although I did have to get a permit from the Lebanese army to leave sovereign Lebanon and enter Hezbollahland.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 08:50 PM

Does the UN resolution/cease fire put a seal on the Israeli defeat?

Well the Jerusalem Post doesn’t think so:

How on earth did Jacques Chirac agree to a resolution that didn't even call for an immediate cease-fire or an immediate Israeli pullback from southern Lebanon, that allowed Israel to retaliate if attacked in the future, and called for the disarmament of Hezbollah and the unconditional release of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev? In other words, the proposal includes almost all the goals that Israel set out to achieve in this war.

Has anyone done a dissection of Hezbollahs logo?

The AK-47 is enough for me.

Charles at LGF and others have caught Reuters publishing photoshoped pics of Beirut. Another Dan Ratheresq thrashing going on. "Fake but True"

Posted by: Joe Marino at August 5, 2006 08:56 PM

Looking forward to your updates. I was going to say "Vaya con Dios" but it souded a bit too funereal to me. :)

Posted by: B. Durbin at August 5, 2006 09:01 PM

Paul,

Israel's economy, where government spending accounts for 50% of GDP and one in three workers works for the government, more closely resembles old East Germany than West.

I caught a snippet in an Israeli newspaper that said Israel has imported Thai laborers to replace the Palestinians that can no longer enter Israel.

Anyone know how many Thais are working in Israel now?

Posted by: monkyboy at August 5, 2006 09:16 PM

Good luck on your trip, it should be informative. A friend of mine is living in southern Israel and hears nothing of the hostilities - literally the reports of rockets - I mean the explosions and he is 6km from Gaza.

I have spent some time there and generally find all the denizens good folks - Arab and Jew alike.

Send pictures.

The Hobo

Posted by: Robohobo at August 5, 2006 09:29 PM

Here is some Lebonese/French Propaganda.

Lebanese report: Hezbollah planted disabled children in basement to die

Now, who would have believed that was what happened?

If it did, it is most certainly the most vile thing I have ever heard of or seen in my long life. And I have seen things that can't be described.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

Posted by: Papa Ray at August 5, 2006 09:55 PM

Nahncee: Michael, in the torturing/whipping photo's, who was torturing/burying/whipping whom?

Michael Totten: The (Christian) South Lebanese Army tortured (etc) suspected Hezbollah members.

------------------------------------------------

Michael, you should know better than label the SLA as Christian, this militia was largely formed of both Shia and Chtistian members in addition to Druze people, so giving it one sectarian color does not really portray the truth.

Furthermore, Israel's ministry of defense, in an affidavit submitted to Israel's High Court of Justice in September 1999, stated that "the interrogators, the jailers, and all of the staff of the facility are Lebanese," and that Khiam is "under the responsibility" of the SLA. But the defense ministry also acknowledged that personnel from Israel's General Security service, or Shin Bet, "hold meetings several times annually with SLA interrogators" and "cooperate with members of the SLA, and even assist them by means of professional guidance and training." It also admitted that Israel and the SLA "consult each other regarding the arrest and release of people in the Khiam facility."

http://www.hrw.org/press/1999/oct/isrl2810.htm

Posted by: Lira at August 5, 2006 11:03 PM

Richard: The city looks like a dump. Bombing could only have improved it. Israel should send the Lebanese a bill for the much needed demolition services.

----------------

Could there be any more cynical comment? I guess all poor people should be bombed in order to improve their areas right? I guess Hitler had the same idea in mind when he flamed the Jewish quarters in several European cities.

Posted by: Lira at August 5, 2006 11:05 PM

Lira,

How many Shia and Druze were in the SLA? I'm not trying to slam Christians here. My understanding is that non-Christian members were a very small minority. Am I wrong?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 5, 2006 11:06 PM

Michael,

Thanks for sharing your pictures, very interesting. The "head" picture facing Israel gave me chills, I can't fathom that there are humans in such a state that they wanted to put that on a billboard.

What's the deal with the Satan "monuments," seems bizarre, did you get an explanation?

Posted by: Brad W at August 5, 2006 11:17 PM

mishu: There are some horrible masons in Hezbollah land.

-------------------------------------------------

Those are the people that have been kicked out of their homes in the South and you call their homes horrible?

Guess who was behind their fleeing from thie villages?

Posted by: Lira at August 5, 2006 11:24 PM

Exactly Michael,

What kind of figures did you have to tell us how did you reach the understanding that non-Christian members were a very small minority.

This is plain generalization.

There were many Shiites and many Druzes, all the Southerners know that and SLA wasn't given a Christian character.

Posted by: Lira at August 5, 2006 11:42 PM

I don't have figures, Lira. That's why I'm asking you. SLA is commonly referred to as Christian. If that's inaccurate, please clarify. I'm not trying to argue here. I'm sure you know more about them than I do.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 6, 2006 12:04 AM

In the old haydays, SLA might have started as mainly Christians, however as time went by, many many Shiites joined the ranks to a point even Hezbollah did not consider this militia as Christian or with a Christian character.

The only ones still referring to SLA as a Christian or a predominantly Christian militia are Arab world extremists who seek to demonize the Lebanese Christians.

The above info could be double checked with all Lebanese bloggers, I stand by my statement.

Finally, why all this focus on SLA? The HRW report that I listed clearly shows that IDF was coordinating with regular follow up on everything happening in the Khiam prison, they even had liaison officers there, so why not tell it as it is?

Posted by: Lira at August 6, 2006 12:27 AM

The only ones still referring to SLA as a Christian or a predominantly Christian militia are Arab world extremists who seek to demonize the Lebanese Christians.

Good to know, thanks.

Finally, why all this focus on SLA?

It's just a blog comments discussion. I'm not trying to whitewash anything here, Lira. I thought it was clear enough when I wrote this sentence on the main page: "the prison was run by the South Lebanese Army, a Lebanese Christian ally of Israel, inside the occupation zone."

Obviously Israel had something to do with this prison since they occupied the whole area. Only a fool would think otherwise. If I were trying to hide bad behavior by the Israelis I wouldn't have included the prison at all here.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 6, 2006 12:57 AM

During the Lebanon War, the South Lebanese Army, a Christian militia, allied itself with Israel in its fight against Hizbullah.

The Jerusalem Post Apr. 6, 2006

http://tinyurl.com/gjvwr

Posted by: monkyboy at August 6, 2006 01:06 AM

when exactly are these photos taken? (for example, the photo of the Beaufort castle)

Posted by: vegetarian at August 6, 2006 05:00 AM

Hello Michael brave pictures. They are easy to figure out. If I recall correctly the Lebanese civil war of the 80s did not start out along religious lines but it ended up that way. At first Christians fought alongside Sunnis, Shiites fought alongside Christians, The Plo fought against everybody. Same with the Druse. The PLo presence started the Lebanese civil war because they used Lebanon as a base to attack Israel. We see history repeating itself again with Hizbollah repeatedly attacking Israel. To answer your question about minorities in the SLA, the SLA drafted the youth from their area, which is why the SLA had Muslim soldiers in its ranks.

Posted by: James Just at August 6, 2006 05:01 AM

...the most vile thing I have seen in my life

I don't know. Hamas takes a teenage girl and straps a bomb belt on her and sends her into a pizza parlor filled with Israeli teenagers. The great "freedom fighters" in Iraq drove a car filled with explosives into a gathering of children who were celebrating the opening of a water treatment facility. And on and on and on ...

Posted by: Joe Marino at August 6, 2006 05:13 AM

it's just their way of expressing their feelings, jihad style.

Posted by: vegetarian at August 6, 2006 05:37 AM

Baby killer cheerleaders.
Go Michael. Here's 10cents for you.

Posted by: XXX at August 6, 2006 05:39 AM

Some of the sites are going wild over doctored photos of the bombing damage. Holocaust denier David Irving once proved that the smoke above the crematoria in a photo of Auschwitz had been added to provide visual impact. Does that prove nothing ever happened?

Is somone really arguing that all the damage in Lebanon is photoshop work? A slippery slope indeed.

Posted by: skip at August 6, 2006 05:55 AM

Michael,

First of all, be safe in your travels...:)

Thanks for posting these photos. It give some of us long distance war watchers a perspective we might not have seen before. That is the case for myself anyway.

Wonderful pics. Keep up the good work...:D

Posted by: callthemlikeyouseethem at August 6, 2006 06:18 AM

I was struck by your comment that "Taking pictures in the dahiyeh is absolutely forbidden." Forbidden by whom? And why? What happens if you try to take a picture?

Posted by: Mark at August 6, 2006 06:23 AM

The pics are very good. A good friend of mine in Eretz Israel already explained these horrible billboards to me, he has had to look at them for years now.

This war is not going well for Israel. The rockets are still flying from Hizb'allahland toward Israel, which means they still have many more launchers than we thought. We try to fight a "civilized" war, they (the Jihadis) are completely uncivilized. If we continue to try to be so polite, we are going to lose this one.

The world needs to see that the lebanese population, at least in the South of Lebanon, is not nearly as innocent as we think. We must act quickly, before Tel Aviv does get turned to ashes.

Thanks again for the pics.

BTW, the torture stations: they may indeed be for the lebanese army against Jihadis, as a backlash for the murders commited by the jihadis (many, many of them so-called "palestinians") in the mid-70s. What goes around, comes around.

The only way to ensure that no more rockets fly our of Lebanon is to firebomb then entire land within 100 Km of the border and raze everything, and I mean, everything, to the ground. But of course, we are too polite for this...

Posted by: Mark Rosenthal at August 6, 2006 07:26 AM

Skip: Going with the "fake but true" defense ala Dan Rather huh?

I guess we shouldn't care if doctored pics are published all around the globe and taken as legit. Slippery slope indeed my friend.

Posted by: Joe Marino at August 6, 2006 07:37 AM

Michael,

I've always loved your blog, and I am especially loving your short commentary and links over at Instapundit this week. I promise to send you another check tomorrow, and request that in addition to your long narrative pieces, you continue with your instapundit type links here, when you are done there.

Posted by: Jane W at August 6, 2006 08:11 AM

Taking pictures in the dahiyeh is absolutely forbidden.

Of course it was forbidden. Nobody's allowed to take photos at military installations.

Posted by: Carlos at August 6, 2006 08:24 AM

"Holocaust denier David Irving once proved that the smoke above the crematoria in a photo of Auschwitz had been added to provide visual impact."

Well, if you're going to gather information about falsifying things, the first place to go has got to be David Irving. Maybe he gives workshops.

Posted by: Johnny Eck at August 6, 2006 09:08 AM

Michael, thanks for sharing. Your photo essay gave me a sequence of thoughts.

1. How alike we are! What an energetic city to live in.

2. With all those pro-martyr posters around, it's no wonder they don't stop the violence. No analog to that here in San Diego.

3. All this worship of violence is counter-productive. They are so close to being a productive, successful economy and then they go and screw it up by attacking the Big Dog who comes over and bombs everything to bits.

4. The Confederacy had some lovely cities, too.

5. General Sherman wrecked the place.

6. I'm glad the Union won the Civil War.

Posted by: K T Cat at August 6, 2006 09:10 AM

You seem to censor those who are speaking truthfully about your method of posting. You may consider yourself to be posting truthful notes, but your comments are very one-sided and require sensivity and research before they are posted as journalism! Maybe a course or two about journalism in any Westernized university will help. Good luck getting over the border into Israel. I'm not here to sympothize, but educated writers know what they are writing about before writing. And we don't beg for the resources to flee, we come prepared or die doing what we love most.

Posted by: TrollingHuh at August 6, 2006 10:09 AM

Roba from Jordan has done what many Arabs in the region refuse to do and that is to actually locate the facts on the deficiencies in the Arab Middle East. She's a brave woman to do so.

On Why We Suck

She concludes after crunching all the numbers:

Why are we powerless? Because we aren’t producing knowledge. Because we aren’t diffusing knowledge. Because we aren’t applying knowledge. And, the future belongs to knowledge-based societies. So, why are we so powerless?

Lack of education.

There are many clear-eyed Arabs and Roba is one of them.

*

Posted by: Jeffrey -- New York at August 6, 2006 10:34 AM

"Is somone really arguing that all the damage in Lebanon is photoshop work?"

No skipy. The issue isn’t damage done to Lebanon. The issue is partisan jihadi media. Al’Reuters is not called that for nothing. It is nothing more than a Jihadi propaganda organ, as is much of the rest of the “MSM”. The doctored photos, the constant jihadi whitewash, the full-bore participation in jihadi propaganda stunts such as the one in Qana, is indicative of that.

Posted by: redaktor at August 6, 2006 10:40 AM

trollinghuh, I'm just here for the pics... you must know what they say about a pic being worth a thousand words...;)

it appears that some photojournalists lack the ability to muster the words which speak the truth about what is happening in the middle east. Perhaps some are afraid. Some are undeniably part of the problem with their doctored photos and gruesome use of innocent victims as props for front page purposes...

I'm beginning to think that all of the "Moderate Arab Nations" are more than a little afraid of "radical islam" and are UNWILLING to stand up to them because of that fear. Everybody is afraid of TERRORISTS! Go figure...:|

Posted by: callthemlikeyouseethem at August 6, 2006 10:59 AM

Mister Ghost interviews an Israeli blogger:

MG: Americans, other than when natural disasters strike, have no concept of what a shelter/bomb shelter is and living in one of them - if you've spent time in a shelter, could you describe the experience for us?

David Bogner: I have never had to spend an extended period of time in a shelter. But when we bought our home it was sobering to note that, like most Israeli homes, it was built with a concrete and steel reinforced 'safe room' where the family could take refuge if our town came under fire such as is occurring in the north right now. That this is standard construction practice throughout the country should give the reader some idea of the depth to which Israel has, by necessity, developed a bunker mentality.

Indeed.

*

Posted by: Jeffrey -- New York at August 6, 2006 10:59 AM

Nice photos,

Beruit/Lebanon looks like a dyanamic city/country which will need the energies and labor of it's people to rebuild it.

link

Posted by: Bob at August 6, 2006 10:59 AM

Link

Posted by: Bob at August 6, 2006 11:05 AM

Michael
Check out this site for more beautiful pictures of Lebanon. A book came out recently featuring all these photos and more.
http://www.pascalbeaudenon.com/photos_album2.html

Posted by: NoSleep at August 6, 2006 01:48 PM

James Just
The PLo presence started the Lebanese civil war because they used Lebanon as a base to attack Israel.

Actually the Lebanese civil war started in 1975, whereas the first Israeli invasion of Lebanon was in 1978, and was brief.

Although there were many Palestinian refugees in Lebanon before 1970, serious trouble only started up after Jordan’s King Hussein finally prevailed in his own civil war against the PLO militia in 1970 and kicked out the whole leadership and armed militants (while massacring many thousand civilians, which no one but Palestinians in the Arab world cares about). The PLO militants went to Lebanon and soon started causing real trouble there, collecting their own “taxes” from other Lebanese bordering them, and conducting much armed brigandage etc. Most Lebanese groups were sick of them and starting fighting them. But it soon got complicated as Lebanon has a number of groups and sub groups that are constantly shifting their alliances. Israel’s invasions in 1978 and 1982 to try and stop cross border PLO raids against it were at first welcomed by many Lebanese groups. That changed in 1983 as Israel went all the way to Beirut pursing the PLO leadership and militants and shelled significant parts of the city (killing thousands of civilians) where they were thought to be hanging out.

Posted by: dougjnn at August 6, 2006 04:08 PM

Yo Skippy. Try holding two separate ideas in your brain at one time - it's not that hard.

1) The issue of damage to Lebanon
2) The issue of media integrity

Posted by: Joe Marino at August 6, 2006 04:48 PM

The issue of media integrity is important, Joe.

But, just like in Iraq, there is a danger that it is the only thing the right focuses on, giving the leaders who are running this conflict a complete pass.

The photo has been noted, now start asking what the goals are in Lebanon and what the plan is to achieve those goals...before it's too late.

Posted by: monkyboy at August 6, 2006 05:23 PM

Interesting...if you are donating, please help out many of the great charities here in the USA. You know, the country that makes it possible to come and go as you please, feed the world and still get up after getting kicked in the teeth by its own peopl.

Posted by: manteca at August 6, 2006 07:38 PM

"I'm not here to sympothize, but educated writers know what they are writing about before writing. And we don't beg for the resources to flee, we come prepared or die doing what we love most."

Educated writer, it's sympathize. As far as I know Totten is in Portland not Lebanon and he is headed to Israel to cover the conflict. Totten>you, even if you want to martyr yourself for what you love most. Christ, even monkeyboy is better then you and he/she is retarded.

BTW, Marino, you might add the incident where Hamas tried to use a retarded person as a suicide bomber. Also, rumors, Saddam's dinner movies are supposedly the worst of the worst.

Posted by: mike at August 6, 2006 08:42 PM

Didn't you post these photographs on another occasion? I seem to remember seeing some of them before.

Posted by: Stanley at August 6, 2006 09:06 PM

Manteca,

the USA feeds the world now? Was this truthiness invented recently (like the last week or so)? I hadn't heard this one before.

I'll be sure to tell all my friends at the WTO who would like to see the US have a policy on reducing US farm subsidies that serve to keep the 3rd world poor and hamper free trade.

Should get a few laughs.

Posted by: justaguy at August 6, 2006 09:56 PM

Didn't you post these photographs on another occasion?

Some of them yes, some of them no.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 6, 2006 10:01 PM

monkyboy: During the Lebanon War, the South Lebanese Army, a Christian militia, allied itself with Israel in its fight against Hizbullah.

The Jerusalem Post Apr. 6, 2006

------------------------------------------------

See Michael, people like monkyboy just love to run with that line.

JPost is really a trustable source, eh monkyboy?

Why don't you ask the Southerners how do they view the SLA? I have already stated the following:

Previous post (check a few comments up):

In the old haydays, SLA might have started as mainly Christians, however as time went by, many many Shiites joined the ranks to a point even Hezbollah did not consider this militia as Christian or with a Christian character.

Posted by: Lira at August 6, 2006 10:28 PM

Mark Rosenthal: The only way to ensure that no more rockets fly our of Lebanon is to firebomb then entire land within 100 Km of the border and raze everything, and I mean, everything, to the ground.

----------------------------------------------

And comments such as those by Mark Rosenthal are considered freedom of speech.

Great

Posted by: Lira at August 6, 2006 10:36 PM

Anyone notice that the Israeli leadership took time out (from the war against terror!!!!) the other day to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Irgun bombing the King David Hotel in Jerusalem?

Its a funny old world.

Posted by: Justaguy at August 6, 2006 10:53 PM

Anyone notice that the Israeli leadership took time out (from the war against terror!!!!) the other day to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Irgun bombing the King David Hotel in Jerusalem?

Its a funny old world.

Posted by: Justaguy at August 6, 2006 11:11 PM

The King David Hotel was military headquarters of the British Mandate, and therefore a military target. Not to mention they also gave the Brits advance notice (much like the warnings given to the Lebanese today). No comparison to Arab terror, then and today.

Posted by: Carlos at August 6, 2006 11:19 PM

No skipy. The issue isn’t damage done to Lebanon. The issue is partisan jihadi media. Al’Reuters is not called that for nothing. It is nothing more than a Jihadi propaganda organ, as is much of the rest of the “MSM”. The doctored photos, the constant jihadi whitewash, the full-bore participation in jihadi propaganda stunts such as the one in Qana, is indicative of that.

Posted by redaktor at August 6, 2006 10:40 AM

This notion that the (US) media is biased against Israel is utterly clueless. The blogosphere disconnect (from reality) at work again.

The media couldn't possibly be more pro-Israeli without being part of the Israeli Government.

All part .

Posted by: Justaguy at August 6, 2006 11:19 PM

No skipy. The issue isn’t damage done to Lebanon. The issue is partisan jihadi media. Al’Reuters is not called that for nothing. It is nothing more than a Jihadi propaganda organ, as is much of the rest of the “MSM”. The doctored photos, the constant jihadi whitewash, the full-bore participation in jihadi propaganda stunts such as the one in Qana, is indicative of that.

Posted by redaktor at August 6, 2006 10:40 AM

This notion that the (US) media is biased against Israel is utterly clueless. The blogosphere disconnect (from reality) at work again.

The media couldn't possibly be more pro-Israeli without being part of the Israeli Government.

All part .

Posted by: Justaguy at August 6, 2006 11:20 PM

What the hell?

Posted by: Justaguy at August 6, 2006 11:21 PM

The King David Hotel was military headquarters of the British Mandate, and therefore a military target. Not to mention they also gave the Brits advance notice (much like the warnings given to the Lebanese today). No comparison to Arab terror, then and today.

So Israeli propaganda goes. Other accounts are somewhat different. The fact is that Israel was founded on terrorism, ethnic cleansing and violence against the inhabitants.

The Israeli patrol that was attacked by Hizbollah was clearly also a military target and the attack involved no civilians (as opposed to the KDH). What Israel is doing to the Lebanese and Palestinian populations is clearly terrorism.

Hizbollah seems to be more accurate and careful to hit military targets. A cursory glance at the casualty figures exposes the common careful Israel myth. They don't value non Jewish life, never have.

Posted by: Justaguy at August 6, 2006 11:39 PM

The King David Hotel was military headquarters of the British Mandate, and therefore a military target. Not to mention they also gave the Brits advance notice (much like the warnings given to the Lebanese today). No comparison to Arab terror, then and today.

So Israeli propaganda goes. Other accounts are somewhat different. The fact is that Israel was founded on terrorism, ethnic cleansing and violence against the inhabitants.

The Israeli patrol that was attacked by Hizbollah was clearly also a military target and the attack involved no civilians (as opposed to the KDH). What Israel is doing to the Lebanese and Palestinian populations is clearly terrorism.

Hizbollah seems to be more accurate and careful to hit military targets. A cursory glance at the casualty figures exposes the common careful Israel myth. They don't value non Jewish life, never have.

Posted by: Justaguy at August 6, 2006 11:41 PM

Lira:

"And comments such as those by Mark Rosenthal are considered freedom of speech.

Great"

Of course they're "considered freedom of speech", if by that you mean they're allowed under the protection of freedom of speech. Being idiotic and hateful is not a preclusion to what may be expressed. In America, the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis are still allowed to march and spread as much bile as they want, including Holocaust denial, as long as they don't incite violence. And as long as there are enough good people to denounce them and prove them wrong, I say let them keep marching. I understand things are different in most European countries, but I prefer the American version of free speech.

Of course, there is no "freedom of speech" on a private websites, so Michael is free to ban Mr Rosenthal if he feels it necessary.

Posted by: Kevin at August 6, 2006 11:41 PM

"I'll be sure to tell all my friends at the WTO who would like to see the US have a policy on reducing US farm subsidies that serve to keep the 3rd world poor and hamper free trade.

Should get a few laughs."

Yawn. 20$ says your from Europe.

Posted by: mike at August 6, 2006 11:56 PM

I'd like to call everyone's attention to MJT's pre-kidnapping post from May 31st, 2006, Leave Beirut Out of It, which seems to have triggered the definitive Get-rid-of-Hezbollah discussion.

Snippets include:

MJT: "Hezbollah's capital is Tehran. Its sidekick capital is Damascus...

"Israel needs to bomb Hezbollah villages."

Perpetual Refugee: "The source for all those rockets is Syria.
The source for all their money ($100 million/year) is Iran.
The source for their ideology is Iran & Syria.

"Hit the source. And the dynamics will change."

maor: "Probably it is more "legal" for Israel to retaliate against Lebanon rather than Syria.
International law is bad at grasping situations such as that in Lebanon."

Carol Herman: "...while I don't think Israel will bomb residential areas, what is sad is that the Lebannese wouldn't even know what to do with the gift of watching the Israelis wound the "martyrs." These goons are just bums."

Omega80: "if the Army were used against Hezbollah, all hell would break loose because of the fact that in Lebanon for the most part, Hezbollah is concentrated in Shia areas. Thus, it would be the Army against the Shias basically which would be a disaster. However, by the same token, eventually the patience of other Lebanese groups and communities will wear out in regards to Hezbollah not disarming, and may see that their only way of self defense against a stronger Hezbollah is to arm themselves in return, which is something that Hezbollah can't stop.

"Therefore, the hope is that because Hezbollah realizes this, they WILL eventually disarm, because once all the other groups are armed again, they will become nothing more than a militia among many."

I wonder what Omega80 is up to nowadays?

Posted by: Solomon2 at August 6, 2006 11:58 PM

Yawn. 20$ says your from Europe.

Well, that makes me 20 bucks richer. Hee hee. A predictable response though, however wide of the mark. But let's not get bogged down with your cheap irrational attempts at insult....

So you also believe that America feeds the world?

Let's see the type of brain that 's behind the bigotry. Or not, as the case may be.

Posted by: Justaguy at August 7, 2006 12:18 AM

Yawn. 20$ says your from Europe.

Well, that makes me 20 bucks richer. Hee hee. A predictable response though, however wide of the mark. But let's not get bogged down with your cheap irrational attempts at insult....

So you also believe that America feeds the world?

Let's see the type of brain that 's behind the bigotry. Or not, as the case may be.

Posted by: Justaguy at August 7, 2006 12:19 AM

Justaguy: "The fact is that Israel was founded on terrorism, ethnic cleansing and violence against the inhabitants."

Have you been in Israel?

Posted by: Johnny Eck at August 7, 2006 05:09 AM

"So you also believe that America feeds the world?

Let's see the type of brain that 's behind the bigotry. Or not, as the case may be."

I didn't claim the U.S. feeds the world and the U.S. is willing to work with the WTO. Bush agreed to cut subsidies, the E.U. didn't. BTW, how is me guessing where you are from predictable?

Posted by: mike at August 7, 2006 09:01 AM

Holy crap. This place is getting overrun by trolls or simply people with a very limited view of the world around them.

Sorry, had to get that out of the way...

I just wanted to throw in a little clarification about the SLA question:

The SLA was started as a "christian" militia that wanted to fight the PLO in south Lebanon in the 1970s. I use the word between quotes because it was in large part, the Christian side of the Lebanese political spectrum that was anti-PLO at the time.

However, over the years, it is my understanding that as the SLA became a full-fledged Israeli proxy (specially post 1982), it lost its mainly-christian character and became more specifically an Israeli tool, aimed at the new enemy in the South (post 1982): Hezbollah while basically patrolling/administering the bufferzone Israel established in South Lebanon.

The higher ranking "officers" of the SLA were still mostly christians, from the "olden day", so to speak. The rank and file, however, consisted of a lot of Shia who were enlisted, (forcefully, at times). Others joined out of economic necessity (there were little to no jobs available under Israeli occupation in the South between 1982 and 2000).

The Khiam prison was "officially" run by the SLA, although it is widely believed that Israeli military knew quite well what was going on in there and gave the illicit approval (and why wouldn't they?).

There's a somewhat decent entry about the SLA on wikipedia at: WIKIPEDIA

Posted by: bad vilbel at August 7, 2006 04:35 PM

I forgot the actual link in my previous post:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Lebanon_Army

Posted by: bad vilbel at August 7, 2006 04:41 PM

Michael, what do you think of recently revealed stage rescue action footage and Adobe repaired Reuters photos? How can we rely on western mass media now?

Posted by: Sergey at August 8, 2006 10:47 AM

Here's to hoping that every one of those buildings is now a smoking ruin, and that every one of those people is a carcass.

Posted by: sophia at August 8, 2006 10:55 AM

too mean sophia.

Posted by: mike at August 8, 2006 10:37 PM

Wow, the anti-arab/muslim racism/religionism in this comment thread is ridiculous.

It's like Bin Laden in reverse. Kill them all!

Posted by: John at August 9, 2006 02:25 AM

Not mean enough.

Esp. the bum who took the picture of the severed head & the bum who glued up the poster and the bums who did the act.

Not mean enough.

Posted by: sophia at August 9, 2006 10:24 AM

dougjinn thank you for your added information on the 1975 lebanese war.

On a related matter, Rockets are too serious, if the Israeli's want to avoid casualties, they are going to have to carpet bomb the Bekaa Valley, the problem is- is that the Israeli's don't have any heavy bombers.

Posted by: James Just at August 9, 2006 11:09 PM

I didn't claim the U.S. feeds the world and the U.S. is willing to work with the WTO. Bush agreed to cut subsidies, the E.U. didn't

Excuse me? The Doha round failed because of US intransigence on the issues. i.e NO plan to reduce ag subsidies thus NO talking points.

The EU is certainly not blameless, but they have cut subsidies more than the US and have an ongoing dialogue to reduce them more. The issue isn't even being discussed in the US.

Posted by: Justaguy at August 12, 2006 02:35 PM

The hezbolla gun logo appears to be copied from a 1960 advertising poster for the movie Exodus, about the creation of the modern state of Israel.

Posted by: misland at August 13, 2006 05:01 AM

Michael,
you probably will delete my comment considering me one of the "jerks on the net"
either you're extremely misinformed or just very biased. either way all respect but facts are facts.
i would never answer a question if i didn't know the full truth. this, sir, is a very dangerous thing you do, let alone it being immoral (only if you are not uninformed).

your feelings in this current conflict clearly show and that's your right.
for once elkhyam prison was an israeli torture prison and the link that the gentleman provided is a decent link that shows interviews with people who were captured who reported the same techniques used against them as those used against palestinians in israel and that are available on many websites and many documentaries made by americans and british..

some officers at the prison were trained by israeli and were unfortunately lebanese but this has nothing to do with the phalangists in lebanon. please be accurate and careful about your information.

Posted by: Mirvat at August 13, 2006 09:30 PM

i wrote my comment before i checked out some of the other comments previously written.
sophie, you want all of us to die and burn?
wow!! i don't even know what to say to that.
i've always wondered how genocides take place, how the nazis were able to get away with it, how the world learns to hate, i guess now i see.
i really hope you think you're wishing death for some monsters of human beings that your media helped you convince yourself with, otherwise i fear for the world.

Posted by: mirvat at August 13, 2006 09:37 PM

Hey there. Good pictures, it really gives out a real picture of what Lebanon is like. As an Israeli, I tend to be frustrated from the global media, showing Lebanon as a peaceful and good willing country that is democratic. To see the pictures shows how Hizbollah still controls Lebanon in everyway.

Keep up the good pictures. As for a donation, I can't since I don't have a way to do it.

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