Saturday, March 13, 2010

Obfuscate and omit

Louis Charbonneau of Reuters uses the occasion of a briefing by Michael Williams (UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon and formerly Ban Ki-moon's personal representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization) to mischaracterize the war between Israel and Lebanon in 2006 and the current state of belligerence between the parties:
Exchanges of threats between Israel and neighboring Lebanon "have generated concerns of a renewed confrontation," Michael Williams told reporters after briefing the 15-nation Security Council on compliance with resolution 1701, which called for an end to Israel's war against Hezbollah in the summer of 2006.
Actually, UNSC Resolution 1701 has a slightly different take on ownership of the war: 
Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hizbollah’s attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons
It's not until 13 paragraphs down in his story that Charbonneau graciously offers readers some background on the cause of the war and in inimitable Reuters' fashion, the presentation obfuscates the facts and is patently biased:
The 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah broke out after the group captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid. Some 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, were killed and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers, died.
As UNSC 1701 makes clear, the war did not simply "break out".  Hezbollah precipitated it when the group killed 8 Israeli soldiers and launched Katyusha rockets at Israeli border communities.  And note Charbonneau's cagey handling of the death count: Lebanese were "killed"; Israelis "died".  The latter apparently due to natural causes.

Charbonneau happily disseminates Arab propaganda:
Lebanese and Syrian officials have been accusing Israel of pushing for a new war in the Middle East against the backdrop of an Iranian nuclear program that Israel considers a threat to its very survival.
While failing to cite the many instances of overt and not-so-veiled threats against Israel coming from all quarters.

And the Reuters' correspondent parrots Iranian dissembling:
Iran rejects Israeli and Western allegations that its nuclear program is a covert plan to acquire an atomic weapons capability. The oil-producing nation says its nuclear ambitions are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity.
While failing to note the latest United Nations' IAEA finding that Iran is indeed pursuing a nuclear warhead.

No comments:

Post a Comment