Monday, July 17, 2006

Media's Support For Israel Intended To Convince Americans That Wider War Is Necessary

There is some dispute in the American media over who is to blame for the escalation of events on the Israel-Lebanon border.

Some would say that the American people are being propagandized.

Two op-ed pieces in today's Washington Post perfectly lay out the battle lines in this skirmish in the information war.

Here is Sebastian Mallaby's take on what happened:

Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorists shower rockets on Northern Israel and carry out a raid that inflicts eight deaths and two abductions. Israel justifiably responds by bombing the headquarters of the Hezbollah leader, but it also rains fire on Beirut's airport, roads and apartment towers, destroying the props of a new and hopeful Lebanon.

Mallaby indicates here that Israel acted militarily only after Hezbollah rained missiles down on Israel and attacked on the ground.

It didn't happen that way.

Fawaz A. Gerges describes the events in a more accurate order:

The latest round of fighting erupted when Hezbollah, or Party of God, a Shiite resistance group (the United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization), infiltrated the Lebanese-Israeli border and attacked an Israeli military post. Hezbollah fighters killed three Israeli soldiers and captured two.

Israel retaliated by attacking Lebanon's civilian infrastructure, including airports, bridges, seaports, electrical and water plants, communications centers, highways and other targets. It also imposed a full blockade on Lebanon by air, land and sea and sealed it from the rest of the world. More than 100 Lebanese civilians have died, and the numbers are increasing by the hour. Hezbollah struck back by firing rockets deep into northern Israel, hitting the port of Haifa and killing and wounding dozens of civilians and soldiers.

These two op-ed pieces adjoined each other on the same page. The Post here encourages the reader to select the version of the facts that best suits one's outlook.

Strict adherence to the truth is optional these days. Israel's disproportional response to the capture of the two soldiers has to be portrayed as justified.

Otherwise, the American people will not as readily support taking the war to Syria and Iran.

10 Comments:

Blogger Meatball One said...

LOL! Nice one...again.

Hey Jerk. I want this post at SMC!!

7/17/2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Thanks.

Sounds like you are doing your Alex Jones imitation for the audience.

7/17/2006 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez Mr. F., strict adherence to the truth has always been completely optional -- Even when as a kid I had fights with my brother...

But lets just say, for arguments sake, that Israel's response was justified... Even then, IMHO, it is utter insanity for the American people to support taking the war to Syria and Iran... And, you know, I have some faith that in the final analysis, the American people will recognize what's good for the American people and they'll politely step aside from the crap in the middle of the road.

Dena

7/17/2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

I was referring to the media's annoying habit of publishing the "truth" that they want other people to believe, rather than truth of a more demonstrable nature.

But you are right, playing fast and loose with facts is nothing really new--even for the media. It just seems more brazen these days.

In a parallel universe in which mass punishment for the crimes of others would be considered justifiable we would be seeing the same type of vocal advocacy for extending the war to Syria and Iran. You are absolutely correct that it would be extreme folly for the U.S. to act on this neo-con fantasy. (See Bill Krystal in the new Weekly Standard):

The right response (to the Israel-Hezbollah violence) is renewed strength--in supporting the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, in standing with Israel, and in pursuing regime change in Syria and Iran. For that matter, we might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

I am not as confident as you about the traditional (long gone) common sense of the American people sparing the world from another outrage directed from Washington.

7/17/2006 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eff:

I was once in the position of having to try and understand a wierd little scuffle at my work -- each party had their own version of what happened as did an eye-witness -- and all the stories were quite different...I was flabbergasted that everyone of them had a different story of something really straightforward (like who walked in the door first)... but then, knowing the personalities involved I became less flabbergasted.... So, this is a round about way of saying while it's true that 2+2=4 -- everything else is pretty much subject to the inclinations of the parties involved... there are people on all sides in the ME that are spoiling for aggression and violence... (It would be my natural tendency, though, to support the underdog, which in this case is obviously not Israel.)

-- I wasn't thinking about the U.S. sparing the world, but sparing themselves -- I just can't see the long-term benefit of escalating the violence for America itself... Israel might have to understand that its' bodyguard is tapped out...

Dena

7/17/2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

You have a good point. Everything is, at its essence, subjective. The Rashomon scenario.

Quantum physics describes similar phenomena. At least at the sub-atomic level.

About the possible U.S. involvement, of course it would not be in our interest to over-extend our military any more than it is already. But the U.S. national interest is not the paramount concern of the neo-con cabal that--to a greater or lesser extent--currently calls the shots in Washington.

Israel might have to understand that its' bodyguard is tapped out...

True. I have heard the speculation that Israel is stirring up the hornet's nest precisely so that the U.S. does not draw down its forces precipitously in Iraq. According to this theory, Israel is afraid that we may turn our back on the Middle East somewhat, and that is perceived by the Israelis as being a bad thing for their security.

7/17/2006 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rashomon scenario.

Had to google that -- and now I'll have to rent it!

-- yes I've read a little of that quantum physics (for the layman) stuff and I find it fascinating -- and if true, (and I believe it is) ideas such as nothing happens in isolation and that we are all connected are so much more poignant in the context of war.

7/17/2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

I try include helpful references when possible.

;-)

All things are indeed interconnected.

Thats the specific reason that killing people is prohibited in Buddhism. A killer kills part of him/herself.

7/17/2006 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes... I went on a 10-day Vipassana retreat several yrs ago -- I found it difficult, but very worthwhile...
D

7/17/2006 7:24 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

D:

Yeah, the zafu can be intimidating when you are faced with 10-12 hours a day of meditation.

7/17/2006 7:40 PM  

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