Monday, April 4, 2011

Stuporous slander

Like an alcoholic who catches a whiff of scotch and cannot resist diving in, when a Reuters correspondent indulges himself, pen in hand, with a story on the Middle East, the temptation to slander Israel is simply overwhelming.

So it is with Reuters "special correspondent" and hard-core propagandist Alistair Lyon.  In a 1,504 word op-ed (misleadingly characterized as "Analysis") about current unrest in the Arab world and its potential to transform the political landscape, Lyon can barely get past his lede before gratuitously and maliciously dumping on Israel:
Israel's American-backed attempts to bomb Hezbollah and south Lebanon into submission in 2006 did not change the region, as Condoleezza Rice predicted it would.
Lyon is suggesting here that the US used or encouraged Israel to attack Hezbollah and Lebanon in an effort to alter Middle East politics but of course, Secretary of State Rice never suggested anything remotely along the lines that "bombing Hezbollah and southern Lebanon into submission" would change the region, nor was that Israel's objective in a war initiated by Hezbollah.  (Given Israel's air defense capabilities, we dare say that if Israel's goal were to bomb Lebanon and its illegal terrorist militias "into submission", we might have seen destruction in Beirut on a scale depicted in Reuters notorious doctored photographs).

Lyon glibly misrepresents Condoleezza Rice and libels Israel but fails to recount the events which led Israel to enter the war against Hezbollah in 2006 so here is a reminder: 
The fighting on the Lebanese border erupted around 9 a.m., when Hezbollah attacked several Israeli towns with rocket fire, wounding several civilians, the Israeli military said. Israeli civilians rushed into their bomb shelters and many remained there through the day.
But that attack was a diversion for the main operation, several miles to the east, where Hezbollah militants fired antitank missiles at two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence, the military said. Of the seven soldiers in the two jeeps, three were killed, two were wounded and two were abducted, the military said.
Hezbollah ultimately fired some 4,000 rockets into Israeli cities, damaging hundreds of homes and forcing millions of Israelis into bomb shelters for weeks.

Thus, the war was foist upon Israel which fought back with both air power and ground troops in an effort to recover the abducted soldiers, protect its citizens, and deter further Hezbollah aggression.

Reuters Middle East correspondents readily succumb to the temptation to slander Israel; it requires a good deal more sobriety to report the truth.  Perhaps they can be persuaded to enter a twelve-step program.

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