posted at 10:34 am on August 10, 2006 by Bryan
I think we’ve posted on some of this before, but I want to put it in one post in one place.
The fauxtography scandals and speculation point to something lurking behind the scenes of the war in Lebanon and the greater war against radical Islam–the post-modern nature of this war. Post-modern conflict is a war of images over substance, where armies or militias can lose every single battle but still win the war if they have marshalled images and sound more successfully than their opponent. Battles still matter, but the airwaves have become another dimension of the battlespace. It’s more than the sultry voice of Tokyo Rose telling American sailors that they were steaming toward their doom. It tells the homefront that the war is unwinnable, that it may be a product of conspiracies by their own leadership, and that it’s resulting in the mass killing of innocent civilians. Post-modern wars play on our Western sense of fairness and the value we place on human life, and obscures the reality of our enemy and its wholesale targeting of civilians in an effort to break our will.
How does it work? Two vignettes tell the story. First, Anderson Cooper on CNN:
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you know, you have to be very careful. Obviously, both sides in this conflict want their stories out. Israel, you know, provides public spokespeople very readily. If you’re dealing with the Israeli military, they don’t want you, you know, wandering around their artillery fields like where we are now, or wandering around their positions. So they often have press people who will actually sort of help you if you need interviews and the like.
While on the Hezbollah side, it’s really interesting — I was in Beirut, and they took me on this sort of guided tour of the Hezbollah- controlled territories in southern Lebanon that were heavily bombed. They are much cruder, obviously. They don’t have the experience in this kind of thing. But they clearly want the story of civilian casualties out. That is their — what they’re heavily pushing, to the point where on this tour I was on, they were just making stuff up. They had six ambulances lined up in a row and said, OK, you know, they brought reporters there, they said you can talk to the ambulance drives. And then one by one, they told the ambulances to turn on their sirens and to zoom off, and people taking that picture would be reporting, I guess, the idea that these ambulances were zooming off to treat civilian casualties, when in fact, these ambulances were literally going back and forth down the street just for people to take pictures of them. (emphases added)
It’s low-budget movie production, totalitarian style. This is the only mention I’ve seen in the MSM of this incident, even though it echoes the tactics the Palestinians have used for years. But the Palestinians go further–they have been filmed actually using ambulances to pick up and ferry militants around.
Let’s see Hezbollywood in action. Remember Green Helmet, Lebanon’s new superhero? He’s also a Hezbollah propaganda field producer:
This is post-modern warfare. The story created is that Israel is committing war crime after war crime, while the reality is that it’s defending itself from an organization run by Iran that is itself a war crime. We’ve seen it over and over in the month since Hezbollah attacked Israel on July 12, in the inflated casualty figures from Qana and other strikes, the pictures of dead children paraded for the cameras, the garbage dump dressed up as a downed Israeli jet, from the mouth of Lebanon’s PM calling Israel’s troops war criminals while ignoring Hezbollah’s targeting Israeli civilians every single day with thousands of rockets. And through it all, the MSM usually plays along, giving us faked and staged photography, aping the Hezbollah line and hewing to Hezbollah’s command not to photograph any Hezbollah fighters or their rocket launch positions.
The American left and most of the world outside the US buys the post-modern fable whole.
More: Here’s an example of the result of Hezbollywood’s production techniques: The BBC travels with Hezbollah handlers who help package up a damage report, which the BBC passes off as real, unbiased news.
Update: Newsbusters was all over this video early this morning. Matthew Sheffield has a great post that he’s still updating.
“Fortunately, in the ongoing unequal war, the meeting point of right and wrong is so distinct that it prompts every free man to sympathize with the patient Lebanese people.”
Taqiyya is well within the Islamofascist arsenal.
Update: LGF has more. And in the war Hezbollah isn’t faking, another day of rockets raining down on civilians. Because that’s how terrorists fight wars–against civilians, in violation of the laws of war.
Ynet reports some rockets of the barrage of this morning landed in the area but no casualties.
All morning sirens continue in other places all over the Gallilee.
15 soldiers died yesterday, not 11. Four of them died when Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile on their tank, 10 died because of friendly fire in two seperate incidents. In one incident a house collapsed after it was being fired upon, while IDF reserve soldiers where inside (communication error).
The IDF said they found Iranian pasports on some killed Hezbollah terrorists. Estimates are there are 4000 Lebanese Hezbollah in South Lebanon and 8000 Iranians (all or not Revolutionairy Guards). Hezbollah denies.
Pretty important update: The New York Times publishes a paen to Hezbollah. Here’s some of the flavor:
Despite Israeli bombardments, Hezbollah continues to operate. In some areas, it does so in open view of Israeli drones that whine overhead in the brilliant afternoon sky.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m., in a large, open dirt field, cut with giant craters from Israeli bombs, five ghostly fighters became ordinary wounded men. More than anything, the men did not want their photographs taken, afraid of revealing anything that might help Israel bomb them.
One covered his face with his T-shirt, in the style of a movie star avoiding paparazzi. Another, in a neck brace, put on sunglasses. Three emergency workers told journalists not to take pictures.
“No pictures,” said a fighter, hobbling on crutches with a white bandage on his left foot.
The Times reporter obeyed: Only one of the photos in the story shows faces, and it’s a Getty shot. As for the “emergency workers,” they’re local Red Cross, helping the terrorists get supplies and cross a river. In other words, they’re helping Hezbollah sustain itself.
Some of the men moved and spoke with a smooth confidence. A man in a checked shirt, dark chinos and a green belt sat on a plastic lawn chair, his legs crossed. He was the only man in the group sitting. A man with a hand-held radio, the usual Hezbollah communications device, stood wordlessly behind him.
Why was the food from Iran?
“This comes from Iran but maybe after a while, the next shipment will come from France,” the man said, a slight but knowing smile spreading.
France’s turn isn’t lost on Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon. Why is it lost on the left here?
Update: A Stern reaction to reader criticism.