Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Journalist Frauds of the Middle East: PNAC's Little Helpers

The PNAC-orchestrated infiltration of news dissemination to the Middle East is well underway. Their plan of exposing viewers and listeners of the Middle East to a "tougher ideological line that endorses the hallmarks of the neo-conservative agenda—regime change and interventionist policies in the region" is in full effect. An ancillary goal of that plan was to "run the information operation aimed at delegitimizing Syria, Iran and Hezbollah every day." Zioneonut and PNAC Packer Newt Gingrich personally doled that responsibility out to Karen Hughes, under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department. [1]

That is certainly not to say that the overall effort is confined to regional satellite and cable broadcasts. The internet is very much a viable conduit through which neoconniving propaganda can make its way to readers and viewers all over the world.

The following piece of urine-yellow journalism is no surprise, coming from the original source, An-Nahar [2]: a Lebanon-based publication known to display bald-faced bias in favor of US-aligned, anti-Syrian, and anti-Opposition groups by way of disinformation. [3] But the fact that at least two other rather obscure media outlets picked up the story, parroted it virtually word-for-word, and exhibited the same disregard for the dubious and unreliable sourcing, [4][5] is very troubling and should make one wonder if it, too, is PNAC-executed.

The original report, published under the headline "Israeli Soldier held by Hizbullah Dies," and under no byline (imagine my shock) states:

"One of the two Israeli soldiers held by Hizbullah for more than a year has died and the other is still alive, the daily newspaper an-Nahar reported Saturday. An-Nahar quoted unnamed German diplomatic sources as saying officials in Berlin tried to obtain from Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun 'some information' about the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah operatives in a cross-border raid on July 12, 2006 which sparked a 34-day devastating war with Israel."

Piss-poor is the quoting of "unnamed German diplomatic sources." (And of course the typical and flawed foregone conclusion that the capture was a kidnapping, that it took place in Israeli territory, and that it was the direct cause of the conflict, must not be overlooked. Such an account is anything but a given. [6]) The report continues:

"'Aoun refused to get involved in this issue. However, security agencies there understood that one of the two prisoners is still alive and the second had passed away,' the report said without further elaboration."

That is where yellow journalism turns into utter fraud. You simply can not rely on an unnamed diplomat's "understanding" of such a deeply-divisive and dangerous issue, and take it as gospel fact. You either quote and name the source (in this case, Michel Aoun, who "refused to get involved"), or you don't report it at all—especially "without further elaboration." The entire report should not have been published.

The report then connivingly attempts to lend credibility to the otherwise baseless report and the implied(?) source of the unnamed diplomat's assumption:

"Aoun is allied with Hizbullah, which leads a campaign backed by Syria and Iran against Premier Fouad Saniora's majority government. . . ."

Truth be told, Hizballah and the opposition outnumber those who support Saniora's dirty, US and Israel-lapdog government. If the current structure of the government in Lebanon (which was formulated along sectarian lines more than sixty years ago, and which is flawed via drastic demographic changes since the last census, which took place in 1932) was truly "democratic," then Hizballah and the opposition would form the "official" majority, and Nasrallah or other Hizballah representative would be elected President or Prime Minister, and Saniora might be shining shoes today instead of raking in shekels and bucks.

And where is the evidence of the connection among Iran, Syria, and Hizballah, as it pertains to such a "campaign"? Iran and Syria have been widely reported as being supporters of Hizballah—the extent of which is yet to be confirmed—but the way the current report is worded makes it appear as though Iran and Syria are fomenting insurrection within Lebanon. That type of slick propaganda is shameful and dangerous.

The good news out of all this (or at least the most telling sign that the report is hogwash) is that no major, mainstream publication has reported on the same garbage without questioning its plausibility or outright refuting it. Ironically, the one piece of decent journalism on the matter was published by the mainstream Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz, which in its own way counters the unfounded An-Nahara claims:

"Shlomo Goldwasser, father of abducted soldier Ehud, said in response that the families of the abducted soldiers dismiss the information as unsubstantiated."
[. . .]
"French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner . . . is set to meet on Saturday with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, the Lebanese newspaper al-Diyar reported. . . . [T]he two will discuss a possible hostage agreement that would bring abducted IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev home in exchange for the release of Lebanese prisoners held in Israeli jails. . . . In a televised interview with the Qatari-based al-Jazeera news channel last week, Nasrallah refused to say whether Regev and Goldwasser are alive.

"Referring to a statement made by Kouchner, in which he said he was led to believe the two men are still living, Nasrallah said, 'The minister understood that they are alive, but our people do not tend to answer questions of this sort. Only I am authorized to pass along details on this subject. Every statement of this sort can bring us human compensation, which is why we don't give information for free,' he continued." [7]

There you have it. The parents of one of the soldiers continue to give zero credence to the rumors about the condition of their son and the other Israeli soldier held by Hizballah. More importantly, only Hassan Nasrallah is authorized to confirm their status, and so far, nothing has been confirmed. Any other report in those regards from any other source is unreliable and not to be sourced as fact.

As a side note, is it not odd that the An-Nahar report vaguely references an unnamed German diplomatic source, while the Ha'aretz article goes into detail, mentioning AND naming a specific French diplomat? It would appear that ghostwriters at An-Nahar, in an attempt to get ahead of the breaking news, got so far ahead of themselves that they got the nationality of the diplomat completely wrong. (Bother much less with the name of even one of those fantastic "German diplomatic sources.")

The planting of baseless propaganda and utter lies about non-aligned governments and resistance groups in order to manufacture consent for otherwise lawless, atrocious conquest is a "hallmark" of PNAC war-profiteers, and is the m.o. of Fascist and imperial regimes of the past. Lazy or connivingly propagandistic journalism, even from the most obscure of sources, only lends itself to the fruition of those diabolical schemes.

The people of Lebanon and the Middle East must not be made victims of another senseless war based on conjecture, lies and dangerous and illegal zioneocon plans. Recall the New York Times frauds (Judith Miller-Ahmed Chalabi affair, etc.) leading up to the illegal Iraq invasion. The current story, and others like it, carry arguably as much propagandistic, war-inducing weight, and therefore must be confronted and brought to account before irreversible damage is done.

[1] Khody Akhavi: "Neo-cons take spin to US-backed airwaves" atimes.com
[2] Report: "Israeli Soldier held by Hizbullah Dies" naharnet.com
[3] Abu Kais: "Naharnet must apologize to its readers" beirutbeltway.blogspot.com
[4] Report: "Israeli soldier held by Hezbollah dies" news.xinhuanet.com
[5] Report: "Israeli soldier held by Hizbollah dies" timesofmalta.com
WERE CAPTURED IN LEBANON" whatreallyhappened.com
[7] Yoav Stern: "Report: One of two soldiers held by Hezbollah is no longer alive" haaretz.com

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