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The war for public opinion

Posted by Richard on July 18, 2006

Neo-neocon made an important point yesterday about civilian deaths in Lebanon. Yes, Hezbollah has been storing rockets in civilian homes and apartments, and launching them from just outside. But Iran (which calls the shots) and Hezbollah aren’t doing this merely because they’re indifferent to civilian casualties — they’re doing it because they want civilian casualties:

Hezbollah is well aware that if, by taking out the missile launchers, Israel kills Lebanese civilians–which is every bit as much Hezbollah’s goal as the initial killing of Israeli civilians by the rockets themselves–then, as sure as day follows night, this fact will be reported heavily by the Western media (mostly without the all-important background context), flashed around the globe, and widely condemned. Civilians are not only expendable on the part of the terrorists, they are important and vital tools–stage props. …

Read, as they say, the whole thing. Then, in the context of this Hezbollah tactic, consider her earlier post about the danger of "proportionality" in war. Israel — like the U.S. in Iraq — gains nothing by fighting cautiously, half-heartedly, and timidly. The Islamofascists will make sure, via their tactics, that even a cautious and measured response results in sufficient collateral damage for their propaganda purposes. Heck, I suspect that if there weren’t enough collateral damage, they’d secretly create it.

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