July 30, 2006

“PHOTOS THAT DAMN HEZBOLLAH:”

THIS is the picture that damns Hezbollah. It is one of several, smuggled from behind Lebanon’s battle lines, showing that Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia.

The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.

Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.

The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were taken by a visiting journalist and smuggled out by a friend. . . . The Melbourne man who smuggled the shots out of Beirut and did not wish to be named said he was less than 400m from the block when it was obliterated.

“Hezbollah came in to launch their rockets, then within minutes the area was blasted by Israeli jets,” he said.

“Until the Hezbollah fighters arrived, it had not been touched by the Israelis. Then it was totally devastated.”

I guess that’s the kind of thing that explains why we’re not neutral in this conflict. (Via The Volokh Conspiracy). Meanwhile, I’m expecting an outcry any year now about Hezbollah’s violations of the laws of war. So far, though, there’s this: “The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had not received agreement so far to its request to visit two Israeli soldiers abducted by Hezbollah guerrillas.”

UPDATE: Josh Trevino writes: “In a sane world, we would give thanks for Hezbollah’s failure to murder, regret what has happened in Qana, and reaffirm the justice of the Israeli war. But this is not a sane world: in place of right and wrong, too many appear to operate in a universe of strong and weak (or, one suspects, Jew and non-Jew) — and their sympathy goes to the weak, even if the weak is a shell of a polity married to a genocide-minded Muslim murder-front.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here: “The strangest aspect of all this, of course, is that no one doubts that Israel killed the civilians in Qana accidentally while targeting terrorists, whereas, on the other hand, Hezbollah has launched hundreds of rockets into Israel for the sole and express purpose of killing civilians. Yet where is the outrage against Hezbollah? Why is it that Kofi Annan swings into action only to denounce Israel and to promote the course that Hezbollah wants, namely a time-out so that it can rebuild its terrorist infrastructure?”

Yeah, it’s almost like he’s on Hezbollah’s side, or something.

STILL MORE: Questioning the timing, and a shockingly professional and prompt Condi banner.

MORE STILL: Qana photos turn out to be staged. This is common in photojournalism from the region, I’m afraid, but Western press agencies eat it up.