August 22, 2006
The "Curious Omission" Gets Curiouser and Curiouser
Three days ago, we noted a curious omission from the New York Times and the Associated Press stories about Israel's commando raid deep into the Bekaa Valley Saturday: while both of those two media sources, as well as the Reuters account, all found occasion to quote chief U.N. envoy to Beirut Terje Roed-Larsen pronouncing Israel's raid "a clear violation of the ceasefire," only Reuters added a second quotation from Mr. Roed-Larsen: that if it were true, as the evidence clearly demonstrates, that Hezbollah were attempting to rearm in Lebanon... then that too would be a violation:
Israel said the operation, in which commandos were airlifted into the area by helicopter, was defensive and was designed to disrupt weapons supplies to Hizbollah from Syria and Iran.
It denied it had violated the resolution, which allows it to act in self-defense, and accused Hizbollah of doing so by smuggling weapons. Roed-Larsen said that if the guerrilla group was [sic] found to have smuggled weapons, it would indeed be in breach of the truce.
Well, here it is, 72 hours later... and now it appears that even Reuters has forgotten that vital piece of information. In a new article, Reuters -- perhaps having been teased unmercifully by its playmates for its unseemly faux pas -- repeats the point that the UN condemned Israel's raid as a violation... but they make no reference whatsoever to the fact that the same UN representative likewise condemned Hezbollah's provocation. Exhibit A:
"From Israel, we expect a renewed effort, this time truly binding, to respect the ceasefire," [Italian] Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema told La Repubblica newspaper.
"It's fair to expect that Hizbollah put down their weapons, but we cannot send our troops to Lebanon if the (Israeli) army keeps shooting."
The U.N.-backed truce was shaken by an Israeli commando raid in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa Valley on Saturday, which the U.N. deemed a ceasefire violation.
Israel says Saturday's raid was a defensive action and, as such, does not constitute a breach of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701, which brought the war to an end.
The Jewish state has accused Hizbollah of violating the resolution by smuggling arms from Syria and has said its jets need to fly over Lebanon to counter such activities.
So on the left hand, we have the fact that "the U.N. deemed" Israel's raid violated the ceasefire; while on the right hand, we are told only that "Israel says" they were responding to an earlier violation by Hezbollah, which is merely an "assus[ation]" by (of course) "the Jewish state." Darn those Jews! Cheating again!
But on the third hand, Reuters itself, in the earlier article, admitted that it was not just Israel that considered rearming a violation; the U.N. itself agreed (conditionally), in the person of the rude Mr. Larsen -- I'm sorry, I meant Mr. Roed-Larsen -- an official U.N. spokesman. (The condition was that if Hezbollah tried to rearm, then that would be a violation; Roed-Larsen had not personally investigated whether that was true or not.)
As Sgt. Garcia says in yet another episode of Zorro -- see what I mean about that television show being the font of all wisdom? -- "have you not heard it said, never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing?"
(Cpl. Reyes: My left hand isn't doing anything.
Sgt. Garcia: Neither is your head, baboso!)
So the omission just got, to quote Alice in Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, "curiouser and curiouser."
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 22, 2006, at the time of 3:17 PM
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The following hissed in response by: Terrye
Speaking of Alice in Wonderland, I was watching Brit Hume earlier and there was a story on the rabbit warren Hezbellah had constructed under those Lebanese villages. Nice digs, as they say...complet with pictures of Nasrallah on the walls.
The above hissed in response by: Terrye at August 22, 2006 4:16 PM
The following hissed in response by: Big D
Rabbit warren? More like whack a mole.
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
Excellent catch, Dafydd. I excerpted and linked at Old War Dogs.
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at August 22, 2006 6:52 PM
The following hissed in response by: k2aggie07
Linked at my blog. Your analysis is, as always, excellent.
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