Sunday, September 30, 2007

Melanie Phillips - Grasp On Reality Continues to Spiral Out of Control

Another classic moment from the Madness of Queen Mel:

Next, there was no ‘massive loss of civilian life’ — quite the contrary. As far as I know, some 1200 people in Lebanon died during the war. Although it is not known how many of them were Hezbollah soldiers since they disguised themselves as civilians, according to the Israelis 500-600 of these fatalities were actually Hezbollah fighters. Only relatively small areas of Beirut were bombed. Given the scale of the bombardment of Israel from Lebanon, with more rockets fired at it in some four weeks than during the Blitz on London during World War Two, the relative restraint and carefully limited nature of the Israeli response (which certainly had many faults) would never have been shown in similar circumstances by any other country. But the British media nevertheless viciously misrepresented the whole thing, inducing a national hysteria and madness — which was what drove Tony Blair from office earlier than he had intended. It was one of the most disgraceful episodes in contemporary British history. Patently false Hezbollah propaganda claims were uncritically regurgitated by the British media as fact, which I commented upon here.

She also quotes an Israeli army captain (entirely impartial of course):

This was perhaps both the most cynical and barbaric disregard for innocent civilian lives of all of Hezballah’s and Iran’s strategic choices. It was also the most successful. It was predicated not on its knowledge of its enemy (Israel) but its true genius lay in its knowledge of the press. The calculus was simple: launch a rocket from within a civilian population; if you kill Jews that’s a victory. If the Jews hit back and in so doing kill Lebanese civilians, that’s a victory. If they don’t hit back because they’re afraid to hit civilians, that’s a victory. Now repeat the process until you kill so many Jews they have to hit back and in so doing kill more Lebanese civilians. That’s the ultimate victory, because they know that in striking just those chords exactly what music the press will play. The awful truth, which the western press was manipulated to ignore or downplay, was that Iran, through its terrorist operational arm Hezballah, had invaded Lebanon from within. Hezballah did not protect Lebanon, they occupied it and they used those Hezballah occupied territories to launch Iran’s offensive in response to the West’s ultimatum to cease development of nuclear weapons.

Of course, this has proved to be an utter fallacy but that will not stop Mad Mel from perpetuating lies to further her own warped, hateful agenda. An independent report by Human Rights Watch has already exposed the truth behind the allegations of fighting from within civilian populations. As my earlier post reported:

Israel was accused yesterday of firing indiscriminately during last year's 34-day war in Lebanon in a report by Human Rights Watch which challenged Israel's claim that the high number of civilian casualties resulted from Hizbullah shielding itself among the Lebanese population.

In a 249-page investigation, the New York-based group said its research showed that even though the militants were also guilty of serious violations of the laws of war, there was no evidence that they systematically fought from among civilians.

Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, dismissed Israel's claim to have killed 600 Hizbullah fighters. He said the best estimate was that there were 250 Hizbullah fighters among the 1,109 Lebanese deaths. About 160 Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed.
See? Bullshit.

Of course, loonies like Mad Mel would claim that Human Rights Watch is full of soft lefties who are hardly impartial. If that is indeed the case, perhaps Mad Mel could shed some light on why she is so keen to utilise HRW reports when they back-up her world-view, yet dismiss them when they challenge her. Look forward to hearing from you Mel (ps a post on Burma might be nice - wouldn't want people to think you support the military junta).