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July 29, 2006


EW, I'm getting some lousy un-removeable popup window on this site (it also seems to have changed my text editing settings, I'm now in overtype mode). Don't really like this, thought I'd let you know as a primary player here.

Not that it matters much at this point, but it's not only Israel that has suffered from the war between Israel and Hezbollah. The US, with Bush's Hurricane Katrina like response, has earned the disgust of most people around the world. Remember that the US gets filtered news while the rest of the world is seeing the destruction Israel has unleashed in Lebanon.

It's interesting that the US and Israel want a force that is similar to the one operating in Kosovo and Afghanistan, but no one wants to participate. Why should any nation send a single soldier to die for Israel? Turkey might do it, but the Kurds will be the tribute the US will pay to Turkey. I don't think the Kurds will go along without a fight.

Bush continues to officially sponsor the IDF campaign against Hezbollah, blathering on today about "remaking the Middle East" (yet again), with Israel the US proxy, as Bush's own military is hors de combat because of Iraqi quagmire. With massive arms shipments in the recent weeks, Bush intends that Olmert pour it on until either Lebanon is reduced to Fallujah-style rubble, or that Hezbollah convert to Christianity, whichever comes first. Then, and only then, will Bush agree to a "cease-fire" and international peace-keeping.

EW aren't you being a bit harsh on Josh? His word was not really a parroting of the alert that you show, and his discovery of the article may or may not have been part of the astroturfing campaign.

I passed along an email to Josh and DK alerting them that there is such a propaganda campaign going on. Not sure if it is really appropriate labelling Josh as a chump for posting a news article that has not been shown to be factually false. (unless there is proof it is false that I havent seen yet)

It's difficult to count the various ways this series of allusions and insinuations is vile. 1. I found the report in question first at the Haaretz website, which I read regularly. I then went and saw where else it had been published. As one of the other commenters here notes, EW leaves out a key point. The report very much appears to be true. I would imagine that would count for something. As for this megaphone program, who cares exactly? Isn't this what blogs do when they alert readers to online polls at MSNBC and CNN and stuff like that. This is garden variety stuff that every liberal and conservative blog in the US does on a regular basis. The only thing that strikes me as different is that it's done by a bunch of Jewish students and because of that, it seems, it's viewed as clearly suspect and malign. I think there's a word for people who think that way.

hey, astroturf won the war in Iraq, AND the war in Afghanistan, didn't it ???

oh, wait a minute ...

they don't called it "freeping a Poll" for nothing, you know

propaganda only works when reality conforms to the message

and we all know that reality has a liberal bias lately


What Hezbollah has, without question, done is shoot rockets from close to UN posts, then leave. What the word shield suggests is that they stayed there, and were in fact there when the UN strike happened. Using the word shield, as Josh did, is in fact parroting the interpretation of General MacKenzie, rather than presenting the article as one that presents two sides: the UN, which said there was no Hezballah activity when the strike hit, and General MacKenzie, who says (not having been there or having any access to knowledge about it but what got reported on TV), that Hezbollah was "shielding" there.

And for the record, I did not say (nor do I believe) Josh got this article via the astroturf program.

It is interesting, whenever anyone says anything negative about Israel, that he is labeled an...."I think there's a word for people who think that way"(Josh Marshall)..well, we know what that word is, don't we? Well, just as all Americans are not warmongers, so, I suspect, that all Israelis are not, either. To criticize propaganda is not anti-semitic. It's calling it what it is: aggressive propaganda. To try to make an equivalent of what Israel is suffering from Hezbollah to what Lebanon is suffering is a lie.


I see your point now. But shouldn't that have been an important point to be included in your original post? Its as if you are writing that Josh bought into the spin and then didn't explain what made you believe that. If the spin that was being passed along was explained in the OP it would have at least softened your harsh characterization (harsh to me at least) of Josh that was included.

Yes, you're probably right. Point well-taken.

I didn't do that because it would have been another post, and my views would have been much harsher.

The entire letter is very interesting. The small part about "tactical necessity" is perhaps one the least interesting aspect.

That post had a job to do. They aren't doing it now.


i like josh marshall very much. he is the only journalism professional in the part of the web log world i read and he really works at presenting a deliberate professional face to web log journalism -

and what we write in the web log world is journalism, folks

whether we accept it to be so or not.


if these are indeed marshall's words,

"I think there is a word for people who think this way",

the implication is inappropriate and inaccurate.

"anti-semitism", "racism", bigotry are not aspects of the words one uses or the questions one raises.

they are aspects of personal belief systems and of ACTIONS following on those belief systems.

e'wheel's questions are appropriate.

given the destructiveness of the current amorphous and violent context in iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan (and elsewhere in the muslim world), it is folly to declare reasonable questions and reasonable suspicions as outside the rules of fair play.

in fact not only is it folly, but it is manipulative of discourse,

i would like j. marshall to confirm he wrote this, which is really at odds with his usual cautious, deliberate behavior,

or that he did not.

raising questions is what commentary on the web log world does best. there really should not be barriers to what is "acceptable" discourse. otherwise, the web log world becomes as bad and useless as the wapoop world or the NY(twit)TIMES world that i had hoped the web log world would lead us out of.

Josh M: The report very much appears to be true.

The report is technically true, but the implication that defend-Israel-at-all-costs observers wish to put on it is not.

The Canadian observer's email, which was published on July 19 by CTV, a week before the Israeli attacks that destroyed the observer post, does imply that at times Hezbollah has fired from positions near the observer post, and that Israeli fire that came near the observer post, in Major Hess-von-Kruedener's words, "has not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to tactical necessity".

To me, this makes clear that the observers knew the difference between firing due to tactical necessity and firing not due to tactical necessity. And they were on the phone eight times to their Israeli liaison the day they were killed, emphasizing that there was not any Hezbollah activity near them, and that therefore the shelling should stop. They were repeatedly promised that it would; if the shelling had been due to Hezbollah firing near the post, wouldn't the liaison have said so rather than promising to end the shelling?

The late Maj. H-vK's email dispatch of July 18 is being used to deflect blame onto Hezbollah for the deaths of the UN observers in an organized propaganda campaign. Josh Marshall has not responded to my email making the same point as above -- that the Major's dispatch combined with the phone calls only strengthens the case for there not being any Hezbollah activity near the observer base, and no good reason for the attack. He's a busy guy, but in combination with the tone of his response here, his silence makes it appear that he accepts the propaganda spin on the Major's email.

I read Maj. H-vK's email days before the destruction of the observer post, and posted about it before it was announced that he was the Canadian presumed dead in the Israeli bombing.

The shameful, ignorant way in which Canadian Prime Minister Harper has joined the victim-blaming in the bombing of the UNTSO post should sicken all Canadians and, I hope, help make this period of Conservative rule another brief one.

The Israeli military and its apologists have on every occasion in this offensive blamed civilian deaths on the victims: they were in the same town from which Hezbollah fired rockets; they had failed to leave after the dropping of leaflets demanding their departure; they were in a house that Hezbollah fighters have been seen in; they were in a truck (driving while Shiite). And on and on.

Here is an air force general just making stuff up in order to try to evade responsibility for the massacre in Qana. This made it into the Jerusalem Post unchallenged, in Haaretz with challenges, and (so far) nowhere else in news reports that I've seen. But you can bet that GIYUS and other parts of the propaganda catapult are throwing it out everywhere. I hope to hell I don't see a link to it at Talking Points Memo:

IAF Brig. Gen. Amir Eshel said Sunday night that the three-story building had been struck by the missiles a little after midnight and that it only collapsed seven hours later, at close to 7 a.m.

Eshel refrained from specifying what had caused the structure to collapse seven hours after it was hit, but senior IAF officers said Sunday night that the explosion could have been caused by an unexploded missile or by a Hizbullah-planted explosive device.

This is a flat lie, denied outright in the Ha'aretz coverage: the building was hit at one in the morning, then again shortly afterwards, and collapsed. There is zero evidence of it collapsing from the effects of anything except Israeli bombs.


Thanks for the posts. I didn't know you had posted on HvK's description before you knew it was him.

Max Sawicky has posted on the right-wing denial around the Qana incident, and I've added links in comments to both an especially vile piece of denialism and to coverage that refutes it. It makes me queasy even to respond to these outlandish charges, but if no one does, then they spread.

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