Thursday, August 31, 2006

PROPAGANDA-HASBARA-IKHTERAQ:call it what you want,-it's a war!


Congratulations to FM Mr. Downer and to The Australian ( Media, 31/8) for tackling head-on, this vexed question re possible propaganda hoaxes such as the “ambulance incident” in Lebanon,- to show-up Israel in a negative light.

With due respect to your ME correspondent Martin Churlow, he revisits the events of July 23, describing them vividly as a personal eyewitness account instead of as a raconteur from a third person. It makes good reading until you visit the detailed and pictorial analysis of the incident on the website (

Then we learn to look at the picture accompanying the article and lo and behold,- we see the tell-tale metal rim around the hole supposedly created smack-centre in the middle of the red cross on the roof of the ambulance by an Israeli missile no less., fired in the dead-quiet and darkness of night, - according to the driver’s testimony.

By the driver’s admission he heard nothing, saw nothing until he opened the back door and then there was a flash, etc. If it was indeed true, I am awed by the pinpoint accuracy from the supposed unmanned drone, with absolutely no collateral damage except some rusty holes on the roof and torn inside linings of the ambulance’s ceiling! As for the rust,- “the picture must have been taken much later”? When, how and by whom? They were published on certain dates straight after the incident in various media and are there for all to check.

ABC Radio National’s "Background Briefing program of 20th August (“A Narrative for a Long War” . quoted one British journalist, Kylie Morris of Ch.4 saying how in Lebanon “journalists unwittingly become part of the story”. She said:” certainly I think we’re being caught in a game here,- there’s certainly no doubt about that”.

My interpretation, to be kind to the eyewitnesses, is that unbeknown to them this ambulance (at first there were supposed to have been 2 destroyed, but only one on show) had its roof booby-trapped in its air-vent in the middle, to blow-up on opening the back-door. It was a mild explosion to cause shock and minor injuries only! The driver’s face and initial bandages gave way to completely healed features within a few days on his pictures afterwards (the ear even beforehand, while the loss of a foot,- who knows when and where that injury was caused! )

But what a propaganda scoop for Hezbollah and what a PR disaster for the “nasty Israelis” who contritely apologised before even verifying the facts!

This is what the journalists want to believe, Mr. Chulov. Mr Alexander Downer and his staff saw the much more convincing proof on the internet’s website. No wonder we see “journalism’s shaky future” as Mark Day notes on the same page of The Australian. .


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