August 01, 2006


Catch the fever!

Thanks to a tip from reader Euzious and Laura Rozen's fine War and Piece blog, and in a bit of redemption after a day-and-a-half of Israeli-coordinated counterattacks from trolls spewing right wing talking points in support of the IDF, it now turns out that the IDF's justification for bombing Qana and the killings of dozens of women and children were lies. Haaretz reported today that as the government investigates what happened, the Air Force has changed its story:
It now appears that the military had no information on rockets launched from the site of the building, or the presence of Hezbollah men at the time. The Israel Defense Forces had said after the deadly air-strike that many rockets had been launched from Qana. However, it changed its version on Monday. The site was included in an IAF plan to strike at several buildings in proximity to a previous launching site. Similar strikes were carried out in the past. However, there were no rocket launches from Qana on the day of the strike.

In other words, hitting that building was “in the plan”, and not done in response to a recent attack.

Israeli forces actually had the temerity to fire on a position known to have fired rockets in the past, but not on the day of attack. Steve Soto of The Left Coaster of course ignores that the site was used to store munitions just 24 hours prior to that. Apparently, the new Liberal Rules of War imposes a shot clock.

But Soto is just getting warmed up:

As for those right wing talking points about Hezbollah bringing the building down hours after the IDF attack, that appears to be a lie also:
The IDF account and those of survivors present contradictory versions of the Qana deaths. The IDF said that there is an unexplained gap of about seven hours between the IAF strike and the first report that the building had collapsed. Residents' accounts say only 10 minutes went by between the strike and the collapse. The survivors say rescue teams arrived only in the morning, as night conditions made the rescue mission difficult. The Red Cross in Tyre received a call for help only in the morning, explaining their late arrival. Sami Yazbek, chief of the Tyre department of the Red Cross, said his office received a call only at 7 A.M. The ambulances were further slowed by the bombed roads leading to Qana. The media first heard of the bombing at 8 A.M. The foreign press quoted Lebanese sources explaining the late announcement, saying the electricity and phones in the village of Qana were almost entirely cut-off by IAF attacks. [snip] The IAF admits the village was struck three times between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Two bombs were dropped on the building in the first strike. Channel 10, however, said on Monday that the initial investigation shows the bombs did not immediately explode, and an explosion in the early morning caused the casualties.

In other words, you can't trust a thing the IDF says, or any crap from the pro-Israeli right wing talking points.

So we have a named IDF Air Force Brigadier General named Amir Eshel stating that the building did not collapse for seven hours after the attack, and to counter, we have unnamed "civilains" who admit to being literally-related to the terrorists in their midst, dictating a more favorable timeline, despite the fact that the call to the Red Cross seems to more closely correspond with the Israeli account.

Who earns your trust, anonymous Hezbollah supporters, or named senior officials of the IDF and the Red Cross?

For Hezbollah apologists like this, hugging the enemy is second nature.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 1, 2006 03:38 PM | TrackBack

"Who earns your trust, anonymous Hezbollah supporters, or named senior officials of the IDF and the Red Cross?"

The IDF is pretty damn selective when it comes to endorsing Red Cross accounts. Is Human Rights Watch now in your good graces too?

Defending Likud Israel's geopolitics on the basis of its /humanitarian/ human rights record is a hilarious tactical departure. After all, the "Prussia of the Middle East" isn't just disliked by Muslims and antisemites--unless these latter are what you fancy makes up the rest of the world.

Posted by: skip at August 1, 2006 04:45 PM

Based on the rigor mortis in the bodies, the building collapsed at midnight.

The Brig. Gen'l was not on the ground. He jumped to a conclusion based on reports. This is fog of war.

Now it may be that Hezbollah timed their rescue efforts to coincide with daylight so that they could bring the media in full force.

But in order to believe that the building went at 7am, you have to believe that Hezbollah trucked in fresh dead bodies, but not TOO dead. Come on. They're good, but not THAT good.

Posted by: Undertoad at August 1, 2006 05:14 PM

There is a flickersite with many pictures of Qana including pictures of men dead and injured. These men are not discolored and not in rigor mortis. Also when you see enough pictures it is plain that there is posing with the bodies going on Something terrible happened there to real people but something else is happening in the media. check it out.
The site is or "qana" then "most recent" then "Massecar (sic) of qana"

Posted by: CheckItOut at August 1, 2006 05:37 PM

skip, where to begin? It is very common for any party in an argument to cite others who do not always agree with them as especially powerful evidence. Adding in a false dichotomy of Human Rights Watch does not add to your argument. The complaint against HRW is not that it is inaccurate so much as that it uses double-standards and relies on suspect sources when the accused is a Western nation.

Israel's - whether Likud or not - record on human rights is quite good, so long as you are not applying cartoon standards. In a real world of fallen humanity, with fearful, selfish, and paranoid people among all groups, we make two measurements for morality: against an absolute standard, which we all fall short of but some of us hold up to force us to do better; and a relative standard, by which there is simply no reasonable comparison between Israel and its neighbors.

If you like absolute standards of morality so much that you wish to hold Israel to them, then here is one for you: to call Israel the "Prussia of the Middle East," with all that implies, because it is not 100% truth, must thus be an absolute lie. Right?

Or do you not want to play now that I have removed the fun of making clever insults from your comments?

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at August 1, 2006 06:07 PM

There is no doubt that the hard left prefers and supports terrorist organizations like Hezbollah over Israel and their own home country. It is a shame that petty personal politics has to play a part in who one supports. It is one thing to have major disagreements over domestic issues, but when it comes to dangers to America and freedom, you would think that the Left could set aside their seething hatred and obstinate knee jerk "take the opposite opinion of the GOP" reactions, just for once.

Posted by: William Teach at August 1, 2006 06:54 PM

Does anyone know if this story is true?

A French language Lebanese publication, citing an unnamed source in Hezbollah, has claimed that the organization placed a rocket launcher on the roof of the notorious building in Qana to provoke an Israeli attack and brought invalid children inside to serve as victims and blacken Israel’s name.
Posted by: Sara (Squiggler) at August 1, 2006 11:09 PM

I would just like to say that the point about the phones could be a lot of nonsense- kind of peasant logic. Presumably they had mobiles? Or would there have been no reception at this location? I think that there is no way the message couldn't have got out, if the incident really happened around midnight.

Posted by: ed at August 2, 2006 12:58 AM

Linked from Old War Dogs >> Rick Moran: IAF Admits It Was Wrong About Qana

Posted by: Bill Faith at August 2, 2006 09:46 AM

Important corrections to CY's post 'Hezbopology':

CY writes: "So we have a named IDF Air Force Brigadier General named Amir Eshel stating that the building did not collapse for seven hours after the attack"

But that's not what Eshel said. His words were:

"I can't say whether the house collapsed at 12 A.M. or at 8 A.M.," said Eshel. "According to foreign press reports, and this is one of the reports we are relying on, the house collapsed at 8 A.M. We do not have testimony regarding the time of the collapse."

So in fact he says he doesn't know - he has no idea at all.

The quote about the building having been used to store weapons is also misrepresented here. The actual quote from IsraelInsider is:

"Eshel reported that as recently as two days ago, military intelligence reported the building area had been used by the terrorists for storage or firing of weapons."

Read it closely. It says that the 'report' came two days ago - not the incident of missile firing, which was in fact 20 days earlier.

Now read again and realise it says 'the building area' - not the building.

In fact, Eshel actually said "the house that was hit had no direct connection to the rocket-launching cells"

and Ha'aretz reports:
"The Israel Defense Forces' inquiry has yet to establish a connection between residents of the building and Hezbollah operatives who were launching rockets at Israel from the area of the village. The IDF believed the building to be empty, and therefore bombed it."

Posted by: billy at August 3, 2006 10:03 AM

Thus, after Jordan called Qana "an ugly crime", we now know that Qana was in fact an ugly Israeli crime made uglier by Neo-cons and Zionist propaganda websites, desperately clinging to their own pro-Israel biases, trying to find some way to blame the obvious atrocity on the victims themselves for not getting out or Hezbollah for putting them there. And, of course, there's no evidence for any of that.
But these heinous Qana-deniers, who would probably blame the holocaust on the jews for preemptively declaring war on Germany in 1933, still try to create 'evidence' by posting pictures and comparing them. Why the hell would anybody listen to the IDF when they didnt have the courage to even be on the ground in Qana at any time. Oh, but what about the Lebanese Christians who say they have 'evidence' that a rocket launcher was placed on the roof. Were they there? Of course not. Sick, ugly propaganda.

Posted by: Thrasymachus at August 5, 2006 04:49 PM