August 07, 2006

Houla Oops

Read about the "horrific massacre" at Houla, Lebanon while you still can:

Lebanon's prime minister said Monday an Israeli airstrike on the southern village of Houla left 40 people dead.

"An hour ago, there was a horrific massacre in the village of Houla in which more than 40 martyrs were victims of deliberate bombing," Fouad Siniora told Arab foreign ministers in Beirut.

A Lebanese law enforcement source told CNN an estimated 60 people were trapped in the rubble of homes in the Houla area.

Six homes were destroyed, and fires engulfed the area, the source said.

The Israel Defense Forces said it is checking the reports on Houla, noting that it has warned residents for the past two weeks to leave.

Siniora choked back tears, wiping his eyes as he spoke, The Associated Press reported. The ministers applauded.

The deaths Prime Minster Siniora claims as the result of an Israeli air strike haven't materialized to any great extent in the rest of the world's press, an odd circumstance for such a large loss of civilian life. As of now, the only other online mention I can find of the story is from the AP's Sam Ghattis, and no photos or first-hand reporting seems yet available from the scene. As of now, we have only Siniora's word that these deaths took place.

Looking around the various news sites, it seems that few news organizations are willing to give Siniora's word the benefit of the doubt, indicating perhaps that news organizations snake-bitten by the still unresolved questions about Qana and the quite thoroughly resolved frauds of Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj, are not willing to give the terrorist-friendly Prime Minister the instant credibility they might have eight days ago.

The trust of the people that the media needs to survive has been severely damaged in their often one-sided and occasionally staged and faked coverage of the war in Lebanon and Israel. The western media has been finally forced into looking at the reliability of their foreign reporters, photographers, and even the public pronouncements of government officials, and they do not seem to like what they see. A propaganda war is only effective if people are willing to swallow the information they are given, and at this point, it seems even the media is gagging on the taqiyya that seems to flow so freely in Lebanon's fog of war.

It is of course possible that once reporters reach the scene in Houla that the stories will once again begin to flow lamenting the loss of innocent Lebanese because of indiscriminate Israeli bombing, but that moment has not yet come, and even the tearful display from Lebanon's Prime Minister seems not enough to sway a skeptical press.

Hezbollah and their allies still retain the support of Iran and Syria, but seem to be losing, temporarily at least, the support of their nominally reliable propaganda allies in the western media, and that might be the most important division of this war so far.

Update: Siniora has retracted his claim.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 7, 2006 10:50 AM | TrackBack

CY - Damn fine title. It's NY Post/NY Daily News worthy alright. Catchy, pithy and to the point.

Posted by: lawhawk at August 7, 2006 01:09 PM

Linked from Old War Dogs.

Posted by: Bill Faith at August 7, 2006 01:59 PM

wicked title and great article too!

Posted by: g at August 7, 2006 02:05 PM

And, in your last link, another cameo by "Shady" Shadhi Jradi; the relief worker/mortician/ambulance driver/set decorator/death pimp of Tyre.
Man; talk about vaulting onto the world's stage!

Posted by: AlcanSombrero at August 7, 2006 02:20 PM

Who broke this story for Reuters? That's right.. Their favorite Hezbollah Propagandist... Lin Noueihed. Reuters should pull her. Isn't she the one that hijacked the UN?Lebanon ceasefire response?

What a joke this is all becoming.

Posted by: Merkin Muffley at August 7, 2006 03:06 PM