August 04, 2006

Media's "Reliable" Source in Lebanon

Did you know that Hizbollah had a media relations department? It stands to reason that this is real, as shared by LGF. This must be the source of the national media's slant on the conflict in Lebanon and where the MSM picked up on the phrase "Israel's Disproportionate Response." Why didn't they give proper credit, though?

Hizbollah Media Relations.jpg

Nice logo on the card. Give Mr. Afif a call and ask him if he's talked with anyone from the NY Times in the last hour.

Posted by Woody M. at August 4, 2006 10:00 PM | TrackBack

I don't think that the MSM 'needs' Hezbollah to be the posturing propagandists they are increasingly turning out to be.

They can manage that all on their own. I would have loved to see the current incarnation of the BBC operate during WW2. It would have been 'illuminating'.

All those interviews with the 'misunderstood' Obersturmfurhers about the 'civilian casualties' caused by a totally disproportionate response.

Frankly I am beginning to think that you might just as well obliterate everthing in sight in one shot. You still get the bad press but only once and soon enough some other bright object will catch the parasite's attention and it will be yesterday's news.

And as we all know --- Yesterday's News is no news at all.

Posted by dougf at August 4, 2006 09:56 PM

Listen i dont like the term disproportinate either but for much different reasons than you. According to the available documentation Israel has now killed about 50 Hezbollah fighters, 600 civilians, destroyed bridges, milk factories, gas stations, fuel storage depots, airport runways and thousands of homes. On the Isreali side there are 36 Israeli soldiers and 19 Israeli civilians and agan the destruction of infrustructure on a much larger scale. Now i know youre going to launch into one of your polemics where you explain away insraels crimes by saying hezbollahs hides amongst civilains, glorifies death while israel is a bastion of western civilization figthing teror while weeping at the deaths it causes. i've heard it all before. but let me suggest to you that if youre honest and think about the sheer scale of harm that each side has endured you might just understand where the term disproportinate fits int othe picture and it has nothing to do with hezbollah pr (doesnt the israeli defence forces have pr as well) given your history as well as gm latest outburst against me on marc's siote which included telling a flat out lie about human rights watch, i dont hold out too much hope for you folks


Posted by ahmed at August 4, 2006 10:23 PM

"Frankly I am beginning to think that you might just as well obliterate everthing in sight in one shot. You still get the bad press but only once and soon enough some other bright object will catch the parasite's attention and it will be yesterday's news."

Hey woody and Roper it must be such a pleasure to have folks here who openly advocate what can be described as mass murder and ethnic cleansing. "Obliterate everything in sight" eh. Very revealing indeed.

Posted by Ahmed at August 4, 2006 10:41 PM


One of the issue are the "rules" of engagement. What we are dealing with here is not simply military posturing, where tit-for-tat (i.e. proportional damage) may be a reasonable expectation.

Rather we are dealing with a war situation, where Israel is trying to remove Hezbollah as a functioning military force. Since no one has been able to disarm Hezbollah in the past, and since we clearly have seen the extent to which Hezbollah has fortified their positions and intertwined themselves with the civilian infraststrure, there is no way to root them out by force that is not going to gravely impact the civilians -- some of whom are actively collaborating,some of whom simply have no where else to go, and still others who are being held hostage by Hezbollah and bein interposed by force. It's very awful, but I don't see any alternative. A nation cannot allow an enemy force to build up lethal force in a border zone simply because they have intertwined themselves with civilians.

The main confusion in the discussion has to do with the role of Lebanon. Those who object to Israel's actions against non-border areas (such as Beirut) tend to view Lebanon as an innocent third party who shouldn't be held responsible because they are militarily and politically too weak to dismantle Hezbollah. In other words, the weakness of the Lebanese government protects Hezbollah from Israeli action because this damages Lebanon.

The counterargument is that Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government and also that the government is at least tacitly complicit -- although the balance of weakness versus active alliance with Hezbollah remains unclear. This results in Hezbollah having active support sites outside of the border area, which does provide necessity for attacks outside of the border area. It also means that there is no way to cleanly separate Hezbollah from Lebanon, in that both occupy the same war theater and are, a significant degree, inseparable.

In other words, the current situation regarding the Lebanese government is the result of past failures of the international community over many years to successfully remove Syrian influence and disarm Hezbollah. And Israel does face a credible threat to it security.

That all said, the one area I would tend to agree with you is that, at least in the first few weeks of the war, Israel has disproportionately used air power versus ground troop actions. The result has been a higher civilian casualty rate due to badly aimed bombs than might have been achieved had there been a better balance of ground and air.

In the past few days, it does look like the domination of the air force in Israel's senior military decision-making process seems to have ended and the army component is having greater say.

But essentially I am arguing that overall, Israel's response was too limited and that it should have use more ground troop forces in the earliest stages. The irony is that by holding back early on, Israel may overall increase casualties by a prolongation of the war.

Posted by civil truth at August 4, 2006 11:49 PM

Ahmed, when the press reports the destruction of bridges and infrastructure in Lebanon, it only tells of personal sufferings of civilians. When Israel does that and what the press doesn't tell you is Israel was cutting the Hizbollah military re-supply pipelines from Syria and Iran and clearing the structures that they used for cover in their indiscrimininate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians themselves. Those counter measures by Israel are completely logical and expected in warfare.

Regarding "disproportionate responses," the U.S. atomic response to Japan in WWII was "disproportionate"--but, it was justified in that the U.S. didn't start the war and this was the quickest way to end it and avoid future American casualties.

But, maybe another anology which G.M. might appreciate, Hisbollah might be likened to a cancer. You can treat it piecemeal, which allows it to keep coming back and spreading, or you can take it out once and for all.

Hisbollah started this current escalating mess with the kidnapping and refusal to return the Israeli soldier. Israel may well teach them a lesson to not start something that you can't finish unless you're willing to accept the consequences. And, because of their intial actions and ways of fighting, Hisbollah must bear the responsibility for civilian casualties.

Posted by Woody at August 5, 2006 09:11 AM

Hey woody and Roper it must be such a pleasure to have folks here who openly advocate what can be described as mass murder and ethnic cleansing. "Obliterate everything in sight" eh. Very revealing indeed.--Ahmed

Actually it was much less an exhortation to genocide than a commentary on the 'law of unintended consequences'.

The 'media' approach to conflict is actually in the end very likely to turn out to be very contra-productive. If all they care about is 'sensationalism' and cheap theatrics, and persist in conflating the infliction of ANY civilian 'casualties' with 'losing' and unacceptable behaviour, then what exactly is the motivation to 'spare the rod', to coin a phrase.

Or put more simply in the honest language of our forebears ---"Might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb". If you are going to get bad PR anyway, might just as well go for the most 'effective' response. Bad is bad ---right?

The media 'simplisme' will NEVER result in an Islamic Victory. It will simply in the end, make the defeat much more devastating, by encouraging the use of tactics by the 'militants' which are really WAR CRIMES. They think they are playing the media card', and beating us with our own values which they despise. What they are REALLY doing is making the civilized 'rules of engagement' obsolete. They won't at all like the results. No fascist ever has.

And Ahmed my comments are MINE, so complain to me . They have nothing whatsoever to do with Woody or Roper . Although that should probably be Mr. Roper to you.

Posted by dougf at August 5, 2006 10:47 AM

Dogf can you perhaps be more specific then? What exactly do you mean when you say Israel should "obliterate everything in sight"

Posted by Ahmed at August 5, 2006 11:51 AM

Dogf can you perhaps be more specific then? What exactly do you mean when you say Israel should "obliterate everything in sight".

Somewhat 'excessive' hyperbole for the purpose of making a legitimate point, which I have previously enunciated. What do you think is going to happen when the 'civilized' rules are gone ? And they will be, should this continue. If you keep pushing on the 'existential conflict' door, sooner or later it will swing open. And if you keep referring to ALL civilian 'casualties' as barbaric, then really to all intents and purposes, what is the difference between 100 and LOTS ? It's all BAD, is it not? A murderous, messianic, existential death-cult which considers 'civilians' to be merely convenient cover, and 'civilians' who accept that role, must be prepared for the 'logical' response to that tactic by the opposition.

Hint--- that response is not to simply roll over and accept losing .

Existential conflicts are not fought on the Marquis of Queensbury Rules. They are fought on the 'last-man-standing', parameters.

And it's not JUST Israel that this topic encompasses. Israel is just the man in the barrel at the moment. The same issue is facing the rest of the non-Jihadi World.

Which topic reminds me of this article which demonstrates the issue, I think. Methinks the Dr. has not really carefully considered his 'thinking' on this issue.

The Doctor Is In !!

Posted by dougf at August 5, 2006 12:13 PM

Ahmed, interesting how you choose to embrace the same type of argument you castigate much of the West for stating in support Israel. As I've stated in many of my comments on this site, it is NOT permissible to use the "they did it fir-ir-irst!" whine to justify anything, let alone efforts to erase the existence of an entire country.

I took the time to attempt to look at your site link (which has a couple of invalid links, btw), and in addition to copious photos of dead and maimed bodies already fisked as staged on lgf (charmingly as ever presented by Hezbollah's Media Ghoul --check out the Aug 5 post on website EU Referendum for the full it also led to a petition/donation site (complete with paypal, visa, and mastercard of course), with the comment "Lebanon has been under attack from Israel for several days now." Several days. Unlike the, oh, last 50 or so years Israel's been under attack from the entire Arab world. I don't guess you care much or know how many Israeli civilian casualties there have been at Arab hands in those years? Or is your compassion for civilians a one-way street?

Civilian casualties and deaths have ALWAYS been a deplorable side effect of war (as a matter of fact, only in the 20th century has the concept of the "civilian" or "non-combatant" been recognized and acknowledged - before that you were either unlucky or a fool to be caught in the war zone), so to believe they are somehow avoidable is nothing short of the grossest stupidity, especially when referring to a country such as Lebanon, where the terrorists have been given free scope to permeate the population and government infrastructure. There is a distinct difference in the Israeli position versus the Hezbollahi one: under Israeli policy, the deaths of non-combatants are a mistake, whereas under Hezbollah they're official policy.

Instead of blaming Israel for responding, you ought to be looking a little harder at why Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are so interested in subsuming Lebanon to their purpose. Maybe "Lebanon for the Lebanese" is more to the point rather than "Li Mauwt Li Israyil!", huh?

And as dougf points out: if you disapprove of comments made to a post on a site, debate them with the commenter; don't insult the hosts. Woody and GM have a strong history of presenting well thought through issues for discussion and debate, and are more than happy to welcome people of all viewpoints, I'm sure, providing no one descends into personal name-calling or ad hominem attacks. Just as you hold your opinions, so too do others hold theirs, and with reasons and beliefs every bit as strong. You may not change anyone's opinion, but a well-reasoned, well-presented argument can be an effective way to expand your audience's knowledge on a topic and open their eyes to a view or point they mayn't have considered.

Woody, I would say that not only has he talked to them in the last hour, but has them on speed dial, or has maybe even considered being wired for ongoing transmission. No doubt the NYT would lap that sort of thing up.

Posted by Katje at August 5, 2006 12:32 PM

Ahmed, I can't speak for dougf, but I was even thinking that Israel might have to clear at least twenty miles of land into Lebanon for a buffer zone to secure itself from missile attacks. This doesn't mean kill everyone in that area, but evacuate the area and make it so that no one will return.

In the Third Punic War, Rome had its fill with Carthage's threat, so it completely leveled the city and poured salt as a herbiside over its farm lands to force the people to move inland. Closer to home, Sherman cleared a twenty mile swath through Georgia simply to force the Southern army to give up. Such action is not without precedence.

(As a footnote and comparison to military costs in the mideast, consider that Rome may have spent today's equivalent of $150 Billion to end Cartharge's threat once and for all. )

Posted by Woody at August 5, 2006 12:42 PM

Ahmed, I can't speak for dougf..--Woody

And grateful you are for that, I have no doubt. ---:-)

Actually since you are delving into Roman historical precedents, Rome did more than just level the city. It either killed or sold into slavery every last inhabitant of Carthage , a number which must have been close to 1,000,000. That was considered an 'existential' threat and the reason for that was the actions of Hannibal. For all his 'feats of arms', what he really did was inculcate in the Roman Populace an undying hatred and fear of Carthage. Like Osama, Hezbollah, and the rest of jihadis-r-us, he thought that the mere act of 'hating' was sufficient in itself, and that he was destined to strike down his mortal enemy. In the end, he instead destroyed everything he had ever known.


And before Ahmed returns to suggest that I am desiring a Cartago delenda est solution to the jihadi problem, I am not.

However if current trends continue, I am very fearful that the 'solutions' found in the future, will resemble Roman History a little too closely for comfort. A 'dysfunctional' culture which keeps on projecting its angst outward on a messianic wave of devine instruction which does not recognize the same moral 'niceties' as its enemies, while simultaneously being totally incapable of providing the most basic services for its populations, is really playing with fire.

This madness had best stop soon. Later will be far too late. Israel and the West WILL NOT LOSE. That means that someone else has to. This is not a Win-Win scenario. This is a binary situation. Binary violent conflicts get very very very NASTY.

ps -- Woody, Israel would never get 'permission' for that 20 mile no-go zone. And if it did, how would it be enforced ? What are you going to do, mine the whole thing ? That's precisely my point. Unless 'something' happens to alter the situation, the 'solutions' all begin to look unpalatable. The "World" really does have to step up with a long-term solution to this situation. Do you really see that happening ?

I don't.

Posted by dougf at August 5, 2006 01:13 PM

dougf, no, I don't see international permission for Israel to clear a buffer zone, but Israel has been asked to return other lands that it hasn't.

Atomic weapons have a way of clearning the land, and radiation has a way of keeping people away for a while--sort of like salt in the fields. I'm becoming pessimistic because there seems to be a greater possibility of nuclear weapons use in that region, now.

The "Doomsday Clock," representing a view of nuclear danger, has sat still since 2002. Maybe it's time to move it up.

The U.N. sure has done a great job in that area since it created Israel.

Posted by Woody at August 5, 2006 01:30 PM

Curious isnt it that folks like the odious dougf who preach that Israel should 'obliterate everything in sight" and suggest that there are no innocents to be found amongst the rubble in lebanon sound alot like osama bin laden. curious

Posted by Ahmed at August 5, 2006 06:06 PM

Ahmed, you have deliberately misread/misstated what Doug said. He explained at length what he meant. If you want to engage in debate, fine; do so! but if you want to castigate someone because they disagree with you or you with them get lost. This is a place for debate. Keep it that way.

Posted by GM at August 5, 2006 06:46 PM

Ahmed, you have deliberately misread/misstated what Doug said. He explained at length what he meant. If you want to engage in debate, fine; do so! but if you want to castigate someone because they disagree with you or you with them get lost. This is a place for debate. Keep it that way.--GMR

Thanks GM, but you need not have bothered, especially on my account. To be honest with you , I consider an insult from Ahmed to be complimentary. Plese let him continue as he started. It says more about him than it does about his target of the moment.

Odious . I rather like that. It's ----- distinctive. Now I think I will go for 'fascist', 'warmonger', 'racist', and ' butcher' so that I can collect the whole set and have something for the adjective to modify in style.

The problem with Ahmed's approach is that at some point, the words lose their ability to impress. In fact, its much as I posited in regard to the media propaganda on 'casualties'.

Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

Thanks Ahmed. Another 'barrier' down, and I have you to thank. I did warn you about the 'law of unintended consequences'. Guess you weren't paying attention at the time.

Oh well , onward and upward ( oops, I forgot the 'odious' part already).

Ahmmm--Make that onward and downward I guess. ------- :-)

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

I would like to add something about the extreme variance between civilian and combatant deaths on the two side of the border. I challenge the numbers of 50 and 600 for openers. Those are hezbollah's numbers, and they have a long history of making claims that turn out to be inaccurate later. As we see Hezbollah not just "among" civilians, but dressed as civilians, we should be suspicious that ANY death of a military-aged male might be a combatant rather than a civilian. My understanding is that the preliminary count of "civilian" deaths includes a disproportionate number of young adult males. Huh. Imagine that.

Hezbollah is attempting to kill many civilians, but do not succeed because their weapons are inferior and they aren't good military strategists. Their only hope is to win the public relations war.

As to disproportionate response, I think the entire Arab obsession with Israel is a disproportionate response. Israel occupies a very small patch of ground, but this infuriates countries that are not even nearby. It is disproportionate that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia care AT ALL.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at August 5, 2006 08:32 PM

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