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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:00 PM
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Alternate view on whether Hezbollah is targetting citizens....
This was posted on the I/P forum, but I thought it worthy or posting here as well. The entire article is worth a read.

Hypocrisy and the clamor against Hizbullah

"First, let us get my argument straight. I have not claimed, as most of my critics wish to argue, that Hizbullah targets only military sites or that it never aims at civilians. According to the Israeli army, more than 3,300 rockets have hit Israel over the past four weeks. How can I know, or even claim to know, where all those rockets have landed, or know what the Hizbullah operatives who fired each rocket intended to hit? I have never made such claims.


My second claim was that Israels military censor is preventing foreign journalists based in Israel, myself included, from discussing where Hizbullah rockets are landing, and what they may be aimed at. Under the censorship rules, It is impossible to mention any issue that touches on Israeli security or defence matters: the location of military installations, for example, cannot be divulged. It is arguable whether it would actually be possible to report a Hizbullah strike that hit a military site inside Israel.

I therefore have to tread carefully in what I say next, relying on information that is already publicly available, but which at least challenges the simplistic view that Hizbullah is firing rockets either indiscriminately or willfully to kill civilians. I draw on two pieces of coverage provided by BBC World.

On Tuesday, the BBCs Katya Adler reported from the northern community of Kiryat Shmona, which has taken the heaviest pounding from Hizbullah rockets and from which many of the local residents have fled over the past month. As she stood on a central street describing the difficult conditions under which the remaining families were living, she had to shout over the rythmic bark of what sounded like an Israeli tank close by firing into Lebanon. She made no mention of what was doing the firing -- and given the censorship laws, my assumption is she cannot. But it does raise the question of how much of a civilian target Kiryat Shmona really is.

Consider also this. Throughout the four weeks of fighting, the BBC have had a presenter and film crew at the top of an area of Haifa known as the Panorama, above the beautiful Bahai Gardens. As the name suggests, from there the film crew have had an unrestricted view of the port and docks below and the wide arc of heavily developed shoreline that stretches up to Acre.

The spot where the BBC presenters have been standing, telling us regularly that they can hear the wail of sirens warning Haifas residents to head for the shelters, is in the centre of this sprawling ridge-top city, in one of the most heavily built up and inhabited areas of Haifa. So why have the BBCs presenters been standing there calmly every day for weeks under the barrage of rockets?

Because all the evidence suggests that Hizbullah has not been trying to hit the centre of Haifa, where it would be certain of inflicting high casualties, whether its rockets were on target or slightly adrift. Instead, as BBC presenters have repeatedly shown us, the overwhelming majority of rockets land either in the mostly-abandoned port area or fall short into the bay -- and on the odd occasion travel a little too far, as one did on Sunday landing on an Arab neighbourhood near the port and killing two inhabitants.

If Hizbullahs primary goal is to kill as many civilians as possible in Haifa, it seems to be going about it in a very strange manner indeed -- unless we are to believe that none of its rockets could be fired the extra 1km needed to hit central Haifa. Instead, as is clear from the view shown by BBC cameras, the port includes many sites far more strategic than the roads, bridges, milk factories and power stations Israel is destroying in Lebanon: it has the oil refinery, the naval docks and other installations that, yes, I cannot mention because of the censorship laws.

At the very least, we should concede to Hizbullah that it is not always targeting civilians, and very possibly is not mainly targeting civilians, which might in part explain the comparatively low Israeli civilian casualty figures.


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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:01 PM
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1. a little google earth
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 04:02 PM by tocqueville

Kyriat Shmona area. The civilian part is obviously near the border (yellow line) under the name of Al Khalisa which is the original name

this is the amusement park (compare position with previous photo)

so I think the OP has a point
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:53 AM
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2. I found your thread by searching to see if this piece had been posted yet.
I'm sorry to see that it sank yesterday with nary a ripple -- save for toqueville's excellent contribution of the satellite photos.

I only just came across this latest from Jonathon Cook this morning and I'd really like to see it get more attention. So here's my k&r.

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:08 PM
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3. k&r for a very interesting article into inhumanities of war and difficulty
of reporting. And the graphics toqueville, thanks
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