Thursday, July 20, 2006

Breaking News?

Why is it that every action in the battle between Israel and the Hezbollah in Lebanon, is deemed “Breaking News” by the TV news channels, but the actions of the war in which Americans are fighting and dying are not?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn good question. Coverage of the war in Lebanon has been wall-to-wall on CNN, MSNBC and FOX ever since it started. My guess? Reporters can still venture into the streets of Lebanon without fear of being kidnapped, whereas in Viet-raq, they're mostly stuck in the Green Zone.

However, if Lebanon devolves into the state that existed in the 70s and 80s, the kidnappings will resume there.

July 20, 2006 4:28 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Geeze, PoP, they only have a week to cover violent bombing and then Condi goes in and it will be all over. I'd smirk, but it's too serious.

July 20, 2006 4:39 AM  
Blogger Durward Discussion said...

Oh PoP,

Iraq is such "old news". Once this silly little thing with Israel is over (or old), they have to worry about Bradgelina again.

July 20, 2006 4:49 AM  
Blogger Walt said...

Iraq is just so - so 2005. This is much more interesting, as we get to see our "greatest friend (solong as WE keep paying their bills) in the Middle East" bomb the crap out of what one of their own pols calls an "impotent state."

By the way, thanks to Binyamin Netanyahu for the sound bite. Way to go, Binny.

Last I heard, Hezbollah numbered close to 1 million members. Israel's going to try and wipe them all out? How? Extermination camps, wholesale massacres and Lidice-style erasures of towns?

::sniggers:: Oooh, I'm such a naughty fellow.

July 20, 2006 5:19 AM  
Blogger C-Nihilist said...

Indeed, a lot of important and momentous news is being pushed to the back burner. In case you missed it: Brad Pitt has said that it's a "true joy" to be a father.

July 20, 2006 5:19 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

For those with such short sightedness and the inability so see the world stage, the action against Israel has the potential to cause the entire region to explode.

Iran founded and supports Hezbollah, they send weapons with the assistance of Syria. Iran initiated this latest violence to give them more time to build nukes, and keep us occupied elsewhere.

All of the left wing whining, crying, and cowardice doesn't help. It lets them think that we are too weak to pursue.

This story is more important than the action in Iraq

July 20, 2006 5:45 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

Iraq's problem is that American deaths are droning on at the rate of 1-3 per day, and we don't give a crap about Iraqi deaths. In Lebanon, our friend Israel is bombing a country where 25,000 foolish Americans can't get out quickly enough. Plus, the media can go to the artillery sites and film big guns going boom, boom instead of hunkering down in the green zone.

Apparently you have sources deeper in the intelligence community than anyone else here does. Do you stand with Gingrich and think that Israel should go ahead and bomb the shit out of Lebanon where the attacks on it originated, or should a cease fire be sought? Wha do you think will better stabilize the region and stave off an impending explosion. And, pray tell, if we are not involved in the conflict, and so far we don't seem to be, what pursuit do you think theink "they"might fear anyway?

July 20, 2006 6:27 AM  
Blogger billie said...

because everything is going so well in iraq and afghanistan. we are making real progress there.

July 20, 2006 6:35 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

you're killing me.

July 20, 2006 6:44 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

We are sick of hearing about Iraq, I think. We'rs all desensitized at this point.

July 20, 2006 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert, we're well aware that the conflict between Hezbollah/Hamas and Israel has larger regional implications. And we're aware that blundering neo-con jackasses with delusions of grandeur and an utter lack of cultural and historical perspective have increased the chances of that exponentially.

I'm sure the Iranians are very grateful to Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for the boost in regional influence. They don't need to keep us occupied elsewhere -- we're tied down occupying Iraq thanks to the geniuses on your side.

July 20, 2006 7:15 AM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Come on now people, Iraq is so passe. Look at the fun going on elsewhere. Why the IED Ritz Carlton just does not seem to hold up to the fireworks show over in Lebby-Non. Besides, its not everyday that we get to see the people of GOD in action!!

Smiting at its best. You might have read about it in the bible, but now you might be able to get it on DVD soon. WOW, I wonder if Pat Robertson would be able to do the infomercial? Oh..I take that back, Benny Hinn, now that has promise. They could make a bundle. And I have just the title, "Thou Shalt Not" unless someone can do a lil better with it.

Love the media, just when you get bored, they deliver on the entertainment. And at such a cheap price too!! And everyone thought the MSM didn't care about us on the Left.

July 20, 2006 7:48 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said... 's like this there are No Missing White Women on Little Tropical Islands....and the MSM Media Whores were out purchasing their color coordinated Rain Gear for Hurry-Cain August when the Lebanon "Broken News " Gift began.....(lucky us). Are they covering what matters- NO...of course not...
Have they even mentioned Iraq this week- ah, nope....
and what else is there for them to report ? Bush 's Table Manners and Pig Tales ?...shit there just isn't enough Mylanta....Thank Heavens For Democracy Now....( or I would have pulled an Elvis and shot my TV long ago)

July 20, 2006 8:28 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...


Codpiece needs to find a better way of reducing overpopulation than war. Oh yeah, war only crushes the poor, so all his friends will be ok & making $$ hand over fist - and you know he cares so very much about his friends...

July 20, 2006 8:33 AM  
Blogger DBK said...

The reason is that the news networks can get good video from Lebanon and the bombings.

Which war were you referring to? Iraq or Forgotistan, where the Taliban are regaining control?

July 20, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Pogo, Israel pulled out of Lebanon in 2000 as everyone wanted. Thanks to us, the Syrians left Lebanon as well, and the government there is one that wants the violence to end, and Lebanon has seen a rebirth of sorts in the past few years. Their economy was bright, and relative peace was a breath of fresh air to the Lebanese.

I think the Israelis have the right to carry out this campaign however they wish. They were attacked first. The problem with civilian deaths is this - Hezbollah fashions weapons to kill as many civilians as possible. Israel targets specific miltary targets, but Hezbollah positions them in civilian areas. So the Israelis must decide who has the higher priority, Lebanese in a country where they harbor terrorists, or their own citizens.

I hate the number of civilian deaths, but I hate oppression and fear through terrorist violence brought about by a desire to eradicate an entire race of people even worse.

Regional stability is an issue that has been there for centuries. But at this point, for the security of Israel, Hezbollah needs to be severely crippled and Syria needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later. I think it needs to be a combination of military action to protect Israel, diplomacy, and a strong presence of a democratic government in Iraq to pressure Syria to stay in line. It will take decades.

July 20, 2006 9:26 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Robert, you need to update your revisionist history on a few things. First off, I realize Republicans see America as the great global hero that can do no wrong, so forgive me if I provide a more mature, scholarly constructive criticism:

Thanks to us, the Syrians left Lebanon as well
That is not thanks to us at all. If anything, with rising tensions in the Middle East Syria would have in interest into holding on parts of a post-civil war, moderate leaning Lebanon. Instead, they left due to the growing protests of the Lebanese people, specifically catalyzed by the murder of Hariri, and the “we didn’t do it” reaction by the Syrians.

I think the Israelis have the right to carry out this campaign however they wish. They were attacked first.
I agree, and I hope Hezbollah is crippled by their response. However, keep in mind, there are a lot of Palestinians in Israeli prisons without trial (sound familiar, Mr. Bush) and honestly, Israel is not as sweet and innocent as the Rapture-right would like us to believe. The Shiites in Southern Lebanon might argue it was Israeli occupation and wrongful imprisonment of their people that started this. Again, Devil’s Advocate I know, but something to consider.

You also said, “ The problem with civilian deaths is this - Hezbollah fashions weapons to kill as many civilians as possible. Israel targets specific military targets, but Hezbollah positions them in civilian areas. So the Israelis must decide who has the higher priority, Lebanese in a country where they harbor terrorists, or their own citizens.
Well, Hezbollah doesn’t exactly choose weapons that have little guidance, they’re using what they’ve been given because they’re a guerrilla faction that doesn’t exactly have the money to spend on defense as say, Israel’s defense budget (with aid from General Electric, you know, owner of liberal NBC).

Finally, Lebanon has very little to do with Hezbollah’s operations there. It’s not as if they have a whole lot of choice, and in fact many Lebanese, especially within its large Christian population, don’t exactly like Hezbollah in their country. I’m not saying Lebanon is a 100% innocent victim, but if they were harboring terrorists and you’re a Bush supporter, why did we go after Iraq, who wasn’t harboring terrorists?

And, do you have any distinction in your own mind between “harboring” terrorists, and “being a state in which terrorists reside?” If not, then shouldn’t we invade New Jersey and Florida, both of which have members of several Islamic extremist groups living, meeting, and accepting money from Saudi Arabia and other wealthy Arab nations?

July 20, 2006 10:12 AM  
Blogger Edward Copeland said...

The cable networks think breaking news grabs more attention, though they will occasionally change it to "developing story." Cable news is such a joke, there are too many things to criticize about it.

July 20, 2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If we were serious about peace in the area, we would have made our decisions over the last 6 decades, based on the needs of the people in the region.

Instead, all of our decisions have been made based on our need for oil.

Why didn't the U.S. help Lebanon get rid of Hezballah, as the U.N. resolution called for?

Lebanon could not do it by itself, and we were absent from that process that could have avoided this confrontation.

Our lack of helping make peace, is showing.

There's no way the networks could resist showing their correspondents ducking bombs on live TV. What a ratings grabber.

Dan Abrams, now the manager of MSNBC, couldn't wait to send Tucker Carlson into combat.

July 20, 2006 11:31 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Its drama at its best for the MSM..they get a woodie when crap like this starts up. But they REALLY don't tell us a damn thing...go figure.

July 20, 2006 11:54 AM  
Blogger Ole Blue The Heretic said...

Because to report on the killing of the citizens of Lebanon is a morale boost, and reporting on the killing of Americans and Iraqis by Americans is treason.

George "dunderhead" Bush

July 20, 2006 12:16 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Jeremy, first let me say that I do see when America makes mistakes. I love and support my country, but am, and have been, critical of actions we have taken.

I do realize that there were several factors involved in Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon. We did have a hand in the action, as the pressure following 9/11 along with our military action in Iraq gave them pause to consider their occupation.

For the moment setting aside the status of the detentions, I don't think that it is a legitimate argument that the proper response to people being imprisoned is indiscriminate violence. If the people being held are Lebanese citizens, then there is a government that can intervene in the appropriate manner. Allowing Hezbollah the status of being a legitimate civil rights organization does a great disservice to those that are legitimate. Giving Hezbollah acceptance for their actions is akin to my cousin being imprisoned for a theft that he didn't truly commit, yet I murder four prison guards and hold two others hostage until he is released. Not 100% accurate analogy, but I think it makes the point.

Hezbollah intentionally uses weapons that target civilian deaths. The warheads on these Katusha(sp?) rockets are packed with ball bearings. There is no guidance system. They are not fired at military targets. Iran and Syria have weapons that are far more appropriate if they were wanting accuracy in targeting. Iran alone funds Hezbollah to the tune of more than $60 million a year. For a group estimated to consist of about 500 fighters, there is plenty of money for better, more efficient weapons.

Yes, there is a distinction between harboring and residing. I shouldn't use the terms interchangeably. I will say that the refusal of the Lebanese government to take greater strides to eliminate them is irresponsible, and borders on responsibility for the actions.

Finally, I will try and do this succinctly so as not to sound ambiguous. I fully support the actions in Iraq, in and of themselves. But:

I have always maintained that we should have dealt with Syria and Iran before Iraq. I believed in 2002, and still do now, that the threat of terrorism from those countries was greater than that of Iraq. I think that no matter what, we would have had to do, at some point, exactly what we did in Iraq. When your objective is not secure on two sides, then there are many problems. Had we dealt with Syria first, the focus of our security in Iraq could have been turned on Iran, with more efficient deployments of resources.

I don't think military action shold be the sole compnent of our efforts. We should look to the terrorist organizations themselves to find a successful model. Look at Hamas and Hezbollah. There are actually three wings to each organization. A military wing, a political wing, and a humanitarian, or social service wing. Many hearts and inds were won by Hamas because they engaged in making the quality of life better for the Palestinians. That is the main reason why they were successful in the elections. We can't field a political party in these countries, but we can use diplomacy and support of existing governments. What is issing from our efforts is the social service thrust. We should be providing education, food, and other basic necessities for those in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. We haven't convinved them that we want a better place for them. We may not ever, as the distrust of things western runs deep. But, it took Hamas deacdes to succeed as they have. We should take their structure and learn from it.

Alas, I do not know everything about the factions involved in all the relevant countries, so my personal analysis may be off base.

July 20, 2006 12:24 PM  
Blogger Brian Varitek said...

This Israel/Lebanon fiasco is good for the Bush admin. It gets their failed war out of the headlines.

July 20, 2006 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything is breaking news these days. My afternoon radio news broadcast was interrupted like the world was ending, because Barry Bonds was not going to be indited "at this time"?!?

Nice looking blog - I've enjoyed reading through it.

July 20, 2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger glenda said...

well, it's to keep us there so they can sell more advertising, of course.

July 20, 2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

The Americans already have buyer's regret for Iraq, they need to sell them on backing Israel as it takes on Syria and Iran.

July 20, 2006 1:16 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Then I guess Robert I have trouble understanding how you could support the invasions of these nations on the one hand, and encourage social and economic support for the people on the other.

I mean, use Iraq as an example. I think one of the largest mistakes the Bush administration has made is that of the humanitarian, softer-skill, non-military efforts of the war itself.

Actually, these weren’t mistakes, they were inevitable consequences of Bush Administration policy. How many different instances has our military tortured or falsely imprisoned people whose hearts and minds we’re supposed to be winning? Look at the administration’s policy’s toward torture, secrecy, the media reporting on the war, dissent regarding the war, Constitutional violations and our own civil liberties here – this is the administration from which you want the models of Democracy spreading in the Middle East?

There are several thousand Iraqis dying each month, around 100 a day at this point – they have no oil production, they lack any resemblance of an economy, their power grids that operate their fans and air conditioning is almost inoperable, there is very little clean water in some provinces. Say what you want about Saddam’s dictatorship and the brutal Baathist regime, but these people had electricity and some jobs and very little fear of getting literally exploded on a Friday stroll to the market or the Mosque down the road. They were under an iron fist of a horrible, corrupt leader, but were no where near the chaos of Islamic terrorism and civil war they find themselves in today. We have people coming back from Iraq reporting, “guess what everyone…it’s even worse than it looks on TV,” and everyone on the Right is criticizing the media for reporting the bad news? Looks like they’re not reporting enough of it!

Considering this absolute mess is not hypothetical, but occurring every day, how well do you think regime change would go in nations that actually do support, harbor and cooperate with Islamic extremists. Why would you look at what is going on in Iraq today and continue to feel that invading nations around the middle East is the solution to America’s global issues?

And for the record, I think there was a much, much longer list of nations that demanded more urgency in terms of their government’s hostility toward secular rule, and the amount of right-wing Islamic extremists being bread from each nation.

The list, in no particular order, does include Syria and Iran (with Syria not even holding a candle to the contribution of Iran, perhaps the most radical, terrorist funding nation on the planet), but also includes Saudi Arabia (an absolute breeding ground for Wahabiist Muslim radicals!), Sudan, Egypt, a closer watch on post-Taliban Afghanistan, North Korea, Pakistan, Yemen, etc.

Our civilian population was attacked over and over by representatives from these nations, and not by anyone in Iraq or associating with Iraq (sure you can find isolated examples of someone in Iraqi intelligence talking to someone who associates with a terrorist organization, but again, you can find this in New Jersey as well.)

Iraq was the one anchor, the one Sunni power to counteract the “Shiite Crescent” if you will of this area. I think one needs to look at their role in the Iran/Iraq war to really see how important Iraq was to the region, in terms of a counterweight to Muslim extremism. Now we’ve removed that authority we need to field the consequences of this action and be ready to deal with it.

July 20, 2006 1:21 PM  
Blogger Blue said...

Excellent question--as far as I can tell, the incessant coverage is designed to help justify our own actions. Isn't Fox billing it under the headline "The Cost of Freedom" (or something like that)?

I love your site, and thanks for stopping by mine!

P.S. Stella says thanks for the hug!

July 20, 2006 5:27 PM  
Blogger concerned citizen said...

my goodness! what a cynical bunch. My kind of people. It's all about what people want to sit down and watch on the telly.

July 20, 2006 5:48 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Remeber that when the US origonally invaded Iraq every second was a "breaking news story."

July 20, 2006 7:31 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Jeremy, I want to post more about this, but I don't have the time at the moment.

I will try to do so over the weekend. My kids have been at grandparents for two weeks and I have to go out of town and get them. They are out inthe country, and have limited internet access, so I will mull this over and post when I return.

Thanks for the intelligent discussion...I enjoy it.

July 20, 2006 7:40 PM  
Blogger Zee said...

Israel is a slowly dying moth, attracted by it's own fireworks. Nothing can prevent this.
Lebanon is a mushed caterpillar who never managed to start chrysalis in time. Maybe next century if god will have it.
Iraq has become a pet bug of the US government, but not by the people on either side ... they both hate to be or see bugs.
Afghanistan ... a lot of sand and a lot of puppies. I see only red.
At the end of the day, the press rather likes to show how moths play with fire in the backyard of mushed caterpillars.
Pet bugs get boring after a while cause they only run in circles ... until they die.
And poppies are only good for heroin.
And the US? There is absolutely nothing to report - that country is in an induced coma.
So there!

July 20, 2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger Zee said...

On an other note - the press prefers to bring the current bad news of "others" - not "our own" and I must correct myself - it is treason to report the truth that concerns YOU, it might be also dangerous to the general population.
They all might even wake up and start to think, have an opinion and demand change, disastrous!

July 20, 2006 10:44 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

"This story is more important than the action in Iraq"...Robert...I think there are some Marines and Army dudes that would be up your ass in a hot minute for a comment like that! I've seen some graphic photos of dead Iraqi children in the last week...and that's enough to last me a lifetime. I saw an infant with it's head split's not I won't was DEAD anyway.

July 21, 2006 2:22 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Why is Israel's war breaking news and our's not? They're tired of the same old thing, two American was killed and a half dozen seriously injured by a roadside bomb.

Actually, that's not it. The subject has been changed. I mentioned that was the object of all the manufactured news, illegal aliens for example.

The media is doing it's best to prevent the entire government from being replaced in November. Why? Haven't you heard? The media is liberal and enguages in self hate.

Lies become truths when enoug people believe them, over a long enough period of time of course. Lies transmuted to truths are never recognized as such until their consequences are realized. Even then they are explained or, in the case of Iraq ignored altogether. I think Iraq can be categorized as a consequence. So does the liberal media that doesn't want to talk about it any more.

July 21, 2006 10:52 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Israel at war is an evangelical wind fall. The holy land is under attack by Muslims. Onward Christian soldiers marching off to war. They're celebrating in the white house.

You're absolutely right, our boys dying is nothing compared to Israel's "police action" according to Israel. Any time there's a hiccup in the holy land the media drops all other news for the most part.

The media is deathly afraid the world will end, Jesus appear in the sky and they won't be there to cover the story, Fox News will get all the glory. So they are ignoring Iraq for several reason. Excuses and not reasons at all?

July 21, 2006 11:03 PM  

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