Sunday, July 23, 2006

Is The News Media Rooting For Hezbollah?

The NY Times reports that the Israelis think it is:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel today accused much of the international news media of bias in its reporting of the war, complaining that the “murderous viciousness” of Hezbollah was not being portrayed. “A twisted image is presented, where the victim is presented as an aggressor,” he said.

I'm not so sure members of the news media are rooting for Hezbollah, but I do they think they're feeling a lot of sympathy for the many innocent Lebanese caught in the crossfire of the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict. Civilians with no ties to Hezbollah are dying from the Israeli bombing campaign, Lebanese soldiers charged with repairing the destroyed Lebanese infrastructure have been targeted by the Israelis while sleeping in their barracks, and a hundred thousand refugees have fled the warzone as the conflict escalates into a ground war.

Israel is coming across like the "neighborhood bully" here by savagely destroying Lebanon while claiming they are simply defending themselves against rocket attacks and trying to get back their kidnapped soldiers. I'm not saying that Israel doesn't have the right to pursue both of these objectives. But if they're going to spend 10 days carpetbombing Lebanon, killing hundreds of innocents, and creating a hundred thousand or more refugees, they ought to expect to be on the losing end of the public relations war.

The longer this conflict goes on, the more likely it is that Israel and by extension the United States comes out the loser in the long run. Perhaps in the short run Israel can achieve some of its objectives, like creating a safe, Hezbollah-free border in Southern Lebanon. But in the long run, they're simply creating more anti-Israel animosity and hatred that is going to result in more terrorist attacks and bloodshed in the future. Just as the Bush administration doesn't seem to understand that a counterinsurgency ought to use as little force as possible in order to win over a populace from insurgents, the Israelis don't seem to realize that their overwhelming use of force has been counterproductive to their overall aims. By bombing the fuck out of the Lebanese in order to root out Hezbollah and doing so much collateral damage in the process, they have shown themselves to be as "murderous" and as "vicious" as the terrorists they purport to be superior to.

Unfortunately for many Americans, the Bush administration and its neo-con cheerleaders like Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Goodwin and Bobo Brooks have all thrown in with the Israeli strategy and so we come off nearly as bad as the Israelis for allowing this slaughter to take place for so long without taking any action to stop it. Watching the way they handle the war on terror, you have to wonder if the administration and its neo-con apologists are in the business of stopping terrorism or creating more terrorists.

It's so comforting to be able to note that you ask if the media is helping Hezbollah, while at the same time YOUR VERY BLOG is doing just that. While you are trying to seek answers from a seemingly logical perspective, you cannot resist but to criticize the US government and her ally, Israel, for their necessary actions to root out the terrorists in Lebanon, who deliberately place their weapon caches in civilian places, without any interference from the Lebanese government whatsoever, and then the media jumps at the opportunity (more noted it's BBC and CNN doing this) to report innocent kids being blown up by the IDF while at the same time no one points the finger at Hezbollah or the Lebanese government for doing NOTHING.
I don't think Israel is creating any more anti-Israel sentiment. There's been so much of it for so long that it's impossible to conceive of more.

I used to have sympathy for the Palestinians till suicide bombing became their protest of choice. Now I think they must be stopped by any means necessary before they come here, and I don't blame Israel for much of anything.

If the Palestinians really wanted their own state, they could protest a la Gahndi or MLK, and Israel would be powerless to resist.

As for Hezbollah, let them return the soldiers they kidnapped and end the violence, if that's what they want.

I don't think it is.

Bill Maher writes about this here, and as usual, I agree with him.
Thanks for sharing, anonymous.

nyc educator, you make excellent points as always.Hezbollah no doubt does not want to end the violence. Iran and Syria are happy to see the carnage as well. But the longer this goes and the more Israel bombs and kills some people who have nothing to do w/ Hezbollah, the more I think Israel comes out the loser. It sure looks like Israel's capaign to "defang Hezbollah" (as the WSJ put it) is going to take longer than they thought and I wonder now if they would have launched such an attack had they known it was going to take weeks or months instead of days.

Listen, Hezbollah are cowards. They hide among innocents and use civilians as shields in order to garner support from the world during the bombing campaign. Unfortunately, that strategy works pretty well, which makes me wish Israel had chosen some other strategy to take care of Hezbollah.
Now, don't get me wrong, guys, but lets face the facts: whether we love or hate Israel for what they are doing in Lebanon, we have to ultimately support their efforts because they are fighting against Islamism, period. The rise in Islamic fundamentalism is a direct threat to America.

I recently came back from a trip to Detroit. Up there I met a guy working in a restaurant who said he was from Lebanon. While he blames Israel for destroying his nation's infratstructure but at the same time he blames the government of Lebanon for allowing the insurgency of Hezbollah guerilla warfare into the populated areas while doing nothing about it, and there, I could not agree with him more.

My only issue is whenever I read a blog that attacks Israel's cause, it reminds me too much that the press is actually supporting terrorism.
I think that it is exactly the way Isreal decided to go about this that makes it despicable.

Hezbollah's actions certainly warrant a reaction, and someone ought to be helping Lebabnon disarm Hezbollah, but no one is.

Bombing the entire coutry of Lebanon and creating 1,000,000 (It will get there) refugees is not the way to do it.

This has the potential to blow up into a powder keg, and even if it doesn't, Lebanon will have been put back 25 years. The forces of extremism feed on such overreactions, and the conflict grows.

I think both are despicable for resorting to such disregard for innocent life to achieve their aims.

Essentially, Isreal stands more to lose from their actions than they stand to gain, what RBE or I, or Anon. thinks, or how the media report it: this escallation will only serve to make things worse for the Israelis and their cause.
anon, it's not that I question we have to fight against Islamic terrorism, it's that I question HOW we fight against Islamic terrorism. The idea ought to be to win the hearts and minds of Islamic people away from terrorists and other extremists. I'm not sure carpet-bombing helps with that campaign in the long run. The same goes for the Iraq war. That conflict was supposed to make the U.S. safer in the war on terror. Instead it has helped radicalize many Islamic people. Abu Ghraib and Gitmo haven't helped the cause either.

It just seems to me that both Israel and the administration think the "hammer" will solve or their problems if they just use it enough on the terrorists. Unfortunately the hammer seems to be creating as many or more terrorists as it is killing.

I think praguetwin said it best: "The forces of extremism feed on such overreactions, and the conflict grows." That is the problem.
I note an article I came across earlier today made the point that there is no powerful Israel lobby in any of our various countries.
Nor does there need to be, although the former, entrenched support is waning.
The whole issue, through media, through commentaers and bloggers is blighted by one consistent failing; an inability or unwillingness to truly define the terms used, and apply those definitions evenly.
It is easy to muddy the argument with inexact language then over-ride the whole thing with patriotism and the other emotional distortions.
It was pointed out to me that all the neo-con "intellectuals" (Kristol, Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith) have close ties to the Likud Party in Israel. This doesn't mean they're a "powerful Israeli lobby." It does mean they have obvious sympathies with right-wingers in Israel. If you look at neo-con foreign policy in the Mideast, you can see how right-wingers in the Israel would be happy about our Iraq invasion and a potential bombing of Iran.

I don't know enough about internal Israeli politics to know if there is any large dissent from their current policy. But you can see how in both the Bush administration and the neo-con jourals there is a huge support for the current campaign against Hezbollah. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that right-wing Israelis (and I know a couple through a friend of mine from college) are much happier w/ the current administration's unqualified support for Israel (aided by the predominance of the neo-con point of view within the administration) as opposed to the previous administration's mostly unqualified support for Israel.
My best guess is that the neo-cons see Israel as their junk yard dog.
Note that I am in to defining terms at the moment, mainly because of the undisciplined language of neo-con apologists.
For example, Jews per se are not Zionists. I have been a dinner parties, and elsewhere, where both are represented and watched the obvious discomfort of the 'Jew'.
I tried, sfter yesterdays comments, to define the terrorist principle. That doesn't work because the neo-cons use terms as a blind.
Finally, I am dismayed today to see that something like 1/3 of Canadians support the Israeli actions, which means they take too much unadultarated US news.
Your post on the meaning of the word "terrorist" was a good one, cartledge. The point is, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. We here in America tend to be tunnel-visioned about those things and only see it from our point of view. I suppose that's true of most people.

BTW, how much "news" do Canadians get from this side of the border? Is it just broadcast TV like ABC, CBS, NBC or are the cable networks like FOX being beamed in to do the brainwashing?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?