Friday, May 16, 2008

Ha'aretz's (Poor?) Coverage of Lebanon

Walid Jumblatt, Leader of the PSP (Photo: Wikipedia)

Like most of the Western media, Ha'aretz has done a very poor job of covering the events that transpired in Lebanon last week. With Hizbullah having imposed a de facto blackout early on in its coup attempt, few people inside or outside the country were in a position to gain a sense of what was happening on the ground. Hizbullah's own media war has added to the confusion, so that it is not at all clear who won, if anyone. Thus, I was more than a little annoyed by the coverage of Zvi Barel, who seems to have bought the line that Hizbullah scored a major victory:
Sad and tired, wearing shabby clothes and with tears in his eyes, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt stood on the veranda of his luxurious home in Beirut's Clemenceau neighborhood and explained his decision to television viewers. A few hours before the interview, he had called his political rival, Talal Arsalan, and asked him to coordinate with Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah the cessation of the fighting in Mount Lebanon, Aley, Chouf and the Maten region, the power centers of the Druze. In return, Jumblatt ordered his people to lay down their arms and hand them over to the Lebanese Army. Within the framework of the well-planned battle Hezbollah is conducting with the aim of changing the balance of power in Lebanon, the Mount Lebanon struggle, involving rival Druze families, might constitute Nasrallah's most important victory.

Contrast this with Tony Badran's (fiery) analysis over at Across the Bay:
Hezbollah had another thing coming. For three days of intensive fighting in the Shouf, and contrary to the lying info ops and disinformation of Hezbollah water carriers like this clueless Hezbollah willful tool (on whose propaganda for Hezbollah I've written in the past and will soon be ripping to shreds once again), not a single village in the Shouf fell to Hezbollah. Not Niha, like that Hezbollah watercarrier MacLeod wrote, not anything.

Quite the contrary. According to the PSP and other local sources, more than three dozen Hezbollah fighters were killed and a number of their vehicles were destroyed. The fact that they had to introduce artillery and vehicles (mounted with heavy machine guns, like so, and recoilless rifles, like so) only showed that they could not make advances into the villages.

Not just that, but Hezbollah's attack has led Talal Arslan's fighters to switch and fight alongside the PSP against Hezbollah, undermining Hezbollah's tiny Druze ally -- which is precisely why Jumblat put him in the forefront from the get go (it was not, as shrill commentators and dishonest flacks read it, a sign of "weakness." It was a shrewed move by a master tactician.).

At the end of the day, the PSP maintained control of the strategic hills of the Barouk to the east and Ras al-Jabal west of Aley, overlooking the Dahiyeh.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Habani commenting.
Mr. Barel has an agenda and he writes according to this agenda. If you follow him you will clearly see the line "Resitance is good resistance to resitance in evil and any how useless because the good will always win". Hizb. is resistance using the barel formula you can predict the outcome in Lebanon.

Danny said...

Could be worse, you could be reading Gideon Levy or god forbid, Meron Rapopport. At least Barel is simply parroting Hizbollah lies and not creating some of his own. Cluster bombs anyone?

Amos said...

Danny - what about cluster bombs?

There was quite a bit of discussion about them over on Jeha's blog after the 2006 war.

Danny said...

Well the whole cluster bomb issue relies on two reports by a single reporter - Meron Rapoport - in Ha'aretz. There is not a single scrap of other "evidence". The figures - 1 million in total, 1 million unexploded, 4 million etc - are solely based on his reports. He claims - basically rehashing some gossip he heard - that 1,800 rockets were fired and an additional 15,000 to 18,000 were fired out of artillery. That is roughly enough to blanket most of South Lebanon. Every single other report is based on these original two from Ha'aretz. Every single report of Halutz making a comment about it is from Ha'aretz - actually to this same reporter.

Out of the 17,000-20,000 strike sites, guess how many have been found? 965 as of March 1008. I believe that Mr Rapopport fabricated his stories and every single one since. I think Ha'aretz either knew or didn't care that this reporter was simply making his stories up. The fact of the matter is that a subject that has caused enormous damage to Israel is the subject of a lie propagated by a newspaper that considers itself to be "serious" should be a matter of shame for it. For me it was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Also note the civilian casualties have gone from 28 around the time of the anniversary to 20. Yep that's right, Israeli cluster bombs have brought 8 Lebanese "civilians" back to life. Anyone still disbelieve that Jews are the chosen ones....

Danny said...

just to prove the point. Needless to say the rest of the article is mainly nonsense - I think you find the gun and the car bomb to be more deadly that cluster munitions....

Danny said...

Here are the main websites, people have quoted to me:

counterpunch, shudder

UN, double shudder coupled with sudden urge to shower

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/05/news/cluster.php

http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=60551

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0831-05.htm

http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/israel_lebanon/clusters/index.htm

Note sources....
http://www.landmineaction.org/resources/Foreseeable%20Harm.pdf

http://www.mag.org.uk/news.php?s=2&p=9121

This is the UN site for de-mining. Look at the quarterly report for 2006. This was the one Rapoport claimed backed his story up - note where the sources are.... Both for the cluster bombs(sic, he means bomblets) and for the number of artillery shells.
http://www.maccsl.org/

Here is the british foreign affairs comttee:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmfaff/363/36302.htm

Search for cluster munitions under Lebanon....

Here are his two key reports that are the sources for all this nonsense:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=760246
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/761781.html

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I didn't get it...
The second version is the truth because it makes you feel better???

Nobody said...

At the end of the day I tend to agree with the original analysis that somebody over there was trying to surrender. If anything I would only disagree as to who of the two.

Anonymous said...

You cannot possibly deserve the title "human beings", because are without hearts. If indeed you are the chosen ones... then you are chosen to make humanity suffer at your expense.

The Arab Advocate said...

Its incredible that people are still trying to defend this pariah state and obfuscate what is clearly a racist, violent, Nazi-like entity called Israel. The shame is yours, but at this point the facts of Israels existence and history are more then well documented. And by the way, Tony Badran is a representative of the right-wing, Lebanese fascists which represent less than 50% of 25% of Lebanon which amounts to less than 1% of the Arab world.

I guess its only natural for supporters of the Zionist-Nazi state to reference other versions of fascism. You can have the Phalange and Lebanese forces as a point of reference and an authority but you still have a problem with 300 million Arabs who will NEVER allow you to keep Palestine, will NEVER accept Israel, and will NEVER recognize the legitimacy of Zionism.

Only when Zionism is eradicated can Arabs and Jews return to living in peace and harmony as they did for centuries. If the colonial-settles from Mitteleuropa do not accept this vision they are free to return home. We never invited them to Palestine anyway.

Give up your mythology and dreams. Israel will not live to 80.