Sunday, January 18, 2009

Truce in Gaza, a little of the truth trickles out

We all know that when it comes to war, the MSM will leech onto any horrific propaganda and repeat it often if it fits their pre-conceived narrative. But this does not make it any easier to accept that we are being lied to - whether or not those uncritically feeding lies to us know what they are doing - especially when it comes from the likes of our tax-payer funded CBC where I have heard many claims that Israel is using white phosphorous on civilians.

Anyway, the New York Times is now covering itself for past misreporting, in the final paragraphs of a recent story on Gaza:
Mr. Kellenberger of the Red Cross said that Israel had facilitated his trip to Gaza and added that he had seen no evidence of the use of white phosphorus, an obscurant used in military conflicts that can be dangerous for civilians under certain circumstances. Palestinians say Israel is using it in Gaza.

Last week, the Red Cross issued an unusually harsh condemnation of Israel for refusing to allow its personnel into Gaza to rescue people trapped in battle. On Wednesday, Mr. Kellenberger said that although the situation remained critical, rescue missions had not been entirely shut down. The organization rescued 100 people trapped in Jabaliya, north of Gaza City, on Tuesday.
This news was discussd by Marty Peretz in his blog (ht:contentious centrist), one of whose anonymous commenters writes:
As a Navy Seabee veteran with experience on 60mm and 81mm mortars, I have fired my share of white phosphorus ("willy peter") shells. WP was used during vietnam for illumination for night fighting and for brush clearing, and rounds were fired directly at the enemy as well. WP burns at 5000 degrees F. and will not extinguish until it completely burns up--it will even burn under water. If it gets on you it will burn right through you. Hence the danger to civilians "under certain circumstances."

Having seen the footage in question I can say that in my estimation, having seen WP up close and personal many times over, Israel is NOT using WP based on that footage.
Wouldn't it be nice if our media could fill their stories on war with a few sober military experts and not the sentimentalization of (and hence encouragment to produce more) victims that we get from the NGOs?


Witness said...

Now that people can go in and snoop around Gaza a little, lots of lies will be revealed over the coming weeks. One of Hamas' most powerful weapons is propaganda. And faking news stories and footage has become part of Palestinian culture. If you have a little time this is a link to an informative video about the subject of Pallywood.

The lazy mainstream media does not verify stories much. They just report the lies as fact. Once the truth does come out the news networks will not offer much in way of retractions, and any that they do make will be delivered as afterthoughts or in back page stories in papers. Most retractions will barely be seen. is a good site that monitors media bias, and is worth checking out if you have not done so already.

truepeers said...

Thanks for the links. Unfortunately, I am using an old computer because my hard drive crashed and this old one can't do video. But I have been following "Pallywood" on and off for some time. Unfortunately I don't think it's just laziness that explains the MSM. Some of them must know what they are doing - e.g. antisemitic French media lie shamelessly it's clear - and think that providing phony pictures and stories of Palestinian victims is "fake but true on some higher level". Journalism attracts the kind of self-righteous people who don't know better, who think they are serving justice and can't see how they are slowly helping to smash to bits our ability to share a reality, without which a free and productive society can't exist.

Part of me is glad I haven't been able to see the web videos of the hate fests on the streets of the West. In any case, we are all going have to do more to organize and spread the truth, to work to reveal modern reality, and protect each other in the hard years to come.

Witness said...

You are right, there is much more than laziness at play with the media. As you say, some must know exactly what they are doing. And I'm sure that the old "ends justifies the means" attitude come into play too. But what justifies their warped ends?

"In any case, we are all going have to do more to organize and spread the truth, to work to reveal modern reality, and protect each other in the hard years to come."

Seems those of you who run this blog are doing your part. Hats off to you. And thank you for sharing the comments sections of the blog with people like me. It is nice to throw in my two cents from time to time.

Dag said...

I spent some time in Gaza, and I can claim that I have a fair idea of daily living there. It's not my idea of a great place, though I've been in far worse. I've spent time with people from NGO.s and people with the U.N., and I have even spent time with journalists. I know some of them to a fairly deep extent. I've lived with HAMAS agents, and I've lived daily with ordinary folks in town. Yes, I've even witnessed a few retaliatory bombings. I've seen a lot of it on all sides. Mostly what I've seen is an array of people from good to outright evil and all in between. It's not like home, though, not "we're all the same."

I've stood beside Westerners who witnessed the same event I did, and I have shaken my head in utter disbelief at the things some say they think of the events in question. Standing with people, watching the same event, I have heard otherwise rational people speak such complete nonsense I have trouble believing I'm listening to real people at all. They are so wrapped up in self-generated visions of -- lies -- what else can I call it? -- that I am ashamed of them. And they feel no shame themselves, compounding the problem.

To witness HAMAS horrors on the streets and to then have it re-presented to me as if I were on another planet rather than standing right there is astounding. Looking directly at an event of horror and then turning to me and lying to my face as if I were dead and gone, what kind of madness is it? And it was common. No, no examples from me here. If our readers can't grasp it, I won't persist.

Dag said...

Witness, you and I were typing at the same time, by the look of it. I hope we'll have coffee together too. Looking forward to it.