shorter chomsky: they traded g...,
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hezbollah severs reserve call up as Israel continues occupation - or - israel severs fruit pickers' lives as hezbollah continues rocket attacks on military convoys:
I kept hearing about '15 Israelis killed in deadliest attack' over the weekend breezing through the cable and network news, I didn't realize they were activated reservists on their way to the front until I checked google today.
Meanwhile 30 massacred in Qaa, using an old, particularly despicable tactic to target first responders:
about 40 workers were loading fruit onto trucks when two missiles struck about 10 minutes apart. "The first strike hit, and there were lots of casualties. People came to help them out, but then another strike hit, and there were even more casualties," he said.
Plus: Israeli troops use Lebanese hospital as 'human shield'. :P
The NYT describes Hezbollah's the health insurance firm, food bank and small business administration, which is interesting. Then there's this piece of rather questionable cynicism:
KURTZ: Tom Ricks, you've covered a number of military conflicts, including Iraq, as I just mentioned. Is civilian casualties increasingly going to be a major media issue? In conflicts where you don't have two standing armies shooting at each other?
THOMAS RICKS, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think it will be. But I think civilian casualties are also part of the battlefield play for both sides here. One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.
KURTZ: Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of it's fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?
RICKS: Yes, that's what military analysts have told me.
KURTZ: That's an extraordinary testament to the notion that having people on your own side killed actually works to your benefit in that nobody wants to see your own citizens killed but it works to your benefit in terms of the battle of perceptions here.
RICKS: Exactly. It helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well.
"moral equivalence", ha ha. Are we sure that's not "moral relativism"? I still don't understand which is which.
An awful lot of this pr shit looks terribly bungled, but it reflects Israel's original idea, so stated, that massive strikes against civillian infrastructure would drive the population ideologically away from the militants - the same "tipping" strategy employed by the US in Fallujah, so that you "split the city, to get the good people of the city on one side and the terrorists on the other" - which is just another way of describing straight up political terrorism on a massive scale. Shockingly in niether case was it particularly effective: for some strange reason people blame the people dropping the bombs for dropping the bombs.
Hezbollah's success so far - probably thanks to Israel's surplus in quality bomb shelters - in killing more combatants than civillians has then cemented the tide of support created by Israel's orgy of destruction, if not achieved much in the way of defending Lebanon. If only Israel could be so discriminating: they might have stood a chance. OTOH Olmert seems to believe he's already achieved the greatest victory in the history of Israel so I suppose this will end any month now.