Monday, July 31, 2006

The Airheads And Blockheads

July 28, 2006

Re: The Airheads And Blockheads
On TV And At The UN

From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel

Dear Colleagues:

I am taking a short amount of time away from writing about Stephen Kinzer’s description of the American sponsored coup against Mossadegh of Iran in 1953, in order to briefly follow up on the posting of June 26th. That blog commented on the fact that it was possible that Hezbollah had been firing from the immediate area around the UN compound where four UN soldiers ultimately were killed by Israeli fire, but that the airhead news media was not asking questions about this possibility although it was quick to carry, over and over again, Kofi Annan’s condemnation of Israel for the killings.

Well, a little more information has now emerged about the discussed possibility. Yesterday an Israeli Ambassador told Paula Zahn of CNN that UN soldiers in the compound had repeatedly emailed Annan that Hezbollah was all around the compound. (I don’t remember the Ambassador’s statement about the emails’ content with exact precision, but I’m confident I have the gist right.) Zahn’s response was a belligerent statement that, nonetheless, the Israelis had been told several times that their shells were endangering the compound. Well, what the hell would one expect when Hezbollah is all around it. Notice that the beautiful blond tv airhead, did not deny what the Ambassador said. Nor did she inquire of the Ambassador, or of Annan or of anyone else as far as I know, whether the emails told Annan that Hezbollah was firing from all around the compound, whether Annan requested Hezbollah to leave the area of the compound, or whether he urged the UN soldiers to leave the compound. Nope. The blond airhead’s only response, echoing the airheaded position of the American media generally, was a belligerent question clearly implying that the area should not have been targeted even though it was being used in some way by Hezbollah - - and was likely being used for firing rockets, I would imagine (especially because of what Hezbollah was doing elsewhere).

More information on the general subject of the UN compounds then was printed in the Boston Globe this morning in a front page article written by a reporter on the scene at a different UN compound, at Naqoura. Outgoing Katusha rockets were “Hezbollah, ‘firing from a position [only] 300 meters away’” from the compound, Colonel Jaques Colleville said, pointing up the hill ‘Now the Israelis will retaliate.’ Ear shattering explosions soon followed as the Israelis replied by shelling the Hezbollah position.” So now we know for sure that Hezbollah is operating very near to UN compounds, and the compound at Naqoura has already been hit twice by Israeli fire, the Globe reported. What has the incompetent (and apparently crooked) Kofi Annan done about this Hezbollah firing (or about similar Hezbollah firings and Israeli counterfirings that, for all we know, may have occurred at other UN compounds too)? Has he demanded that Hezbollah move? Has he simply told the Israelis to stop firing at the area? Has he told the UN people to leave the area? Who knows. (There is a report this morning that UN soldiers are being withdrawn from two outposts. One presumes Hezbollah is all around these two outposts. Do Annan or the UN deny this?)

What is more, what is the incompetent Annan going to do if the Hezbollahs move closer to the UN compound at Naqoura (or elsewhere?), move within 100 yards or 50 yards or 25 yards, which the UN soldiers, as made clear in this morning’s Globe article, are apparently powerless to stop. Is he going to once again accuse Israel of “apparently deliberately” hitting the compound if return fire strikes it (or other compounds)?

Lest one think Hezbollah would not move closer, a story in today’s Times would disabuse of that crazy notion. Christian Lebanese refugees from a village “less than a mile from Bint Jbail,” where the Israelis have been engaging Hezbollah, said Hezbollah fighters came into their village and “were using it as a base to shoot rockets. . . and the Israelis fired back” Hezbollah, said a villager “’are shooting from between our houses.’”(Emphasis added.) That sounds pretty close, huh? Another villager said that Hezbollah had “killed a man who was trying to leave Bint Jbail. ‘This is what’s happening, but no one wants to say it’ for fear of Hezbollah, she said.” It sounds to me like Hezbollah doesn’t want its civilian human shields to up and leave, thereby allowing the Israelis to more vigorously pound the guerrillas. Does this sound like a group that wouldn’t get closer to UN compounds if it thought it had to for safety?

Meanwhile, Kofi Annan merely criticizes Israel, for all we know says nothing to Hezbollah, did not pull out UN troops (although this may be changing) who have been put in danger by Hezbollah’s obviously deliberate positioning (perhaps the troops have been left in place because they are helping in humanitarian work - - which makes Hezbollah’s positioning even more evil), and Annan’s Security Council passes a statement that says the Council is “shocked and distressed” that the Israelis fired at the compound but makes no mention - - none at all - - of the fact that Hezbollah drew the fire by locating itself near the UN positions. And the airheads on American tv have no clue even as to what questions they should be asking of Annan, let alone of Hezbollah, whom they seem rarely even to speak with, if ever.*

* This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me at Your response may be posted on the blog if you have no objection; please tell me if you do object.

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