A photo used by Reuters of bombing damage done by Israel in Beirut is being identified as a fraud by photo experts. Most telling is the pattern of smoke rising over the city; it seems to have been doctored — cloned, is the term being used — by Photoshop (a program that permits editing of photos) so that the billowing smoke appears far more excessive than it really was. I’m no photo expert and even I can see it. Please, to see for yourself, take a look at:
You’ll be able to see the cloning — the repeating pattern in the smoke; smoke simply does not billow this way. What is more the photo clones buildings that were destroyed as well.
To make matters more interesting, the photographer of this photo, one Adnan Hajj, also took pictures at Qana, where Israel ostensibly bombed civilians — he photographed one man who was seen repeatedly holding dead bodies (looking suspiciously like rigor mortis had set in).
So precisely what is going on? Did Reuters dummy the picture?
Not according to one blog observer —http://ace.mu.nu/archives/189452.php — who says, the problem is the main stream media’s "credulously taking every report or picture submitted by a foreign stringer with likely political biases, unknown loyalties, and dubious ethics, and splashing them on the front pages as if they’d all been carefully scrutinized and vetted."
The media has a lot of explaining to do, he insists, "But they will do no explaining, and ask no questions…because they cannot admit that they have cut foreign budgets to such a degree they now rely almost entirely on local stringers of questionable objectivity and integrity for the bulk of their foreign reportage.
"…They’d more or less have to simply say ‘Almost all of our international coverage is highly suspect due to our unwillingness to send credentialed journalists into these areas.’"
And there’s more. Take a look at: http://dfrankfurter.livejournal.com/77833.html and you will see a photo that ran on the front page of The Washington Post on July 31, showing a row of the "dead" from Qana. Click on the photo. Then click again on the last body in the row, which will enlarge it. Guess what? This "body" didn’t realize he was still on camera and he is sitting up under his sheet. But that didn’t prevent the Post from running the photo.
And as if this isn’t bad enough, Tom Gross, writing in The Jerusalem Post on August 2, said that "CNN ‘senior international correspondent’ Nic Robertson admitted that his anti-Israel report from Beirut on July 18 about civilian casualties in Lebanon, was stage-managed from start to finish by Hezbollah. He revealed that his story was heavily influenced by Hezbollah’s ‘press officer’ and that Hezbollah has ‘very, very sophisticated and slick media operations.’
"When pressed a few days later about his reporting on the CNN program ‘Reliable Sources,’ Robertson acknowledged that Hezbollah militants had instructed the CNN camera team where and what to film. Hezbollah ‘had control of the situation,’ Robertson said. ‘They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn’t have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath.’"
So we are facing a PR problem of huge dimensions and vast implications. Media sources (CNN and BBC being especially culpable) must be held accountable for their biases and their slipshod journalism. That much is certain.
But there’s another area of concern:
In part we are taking an incredible beating worldwide — being represented as a callused and cruel military power — because of anti-Semitism and the double standard that is consistently applied to us. But in part we are taking that beating because we haven’t taken the charges seriously enough and haven’t done battle to the fullest.
The Israeli government must mount a media battle that exposes phony claims and counters with hard hitting information. From official Israeli sources there has been a paucity of solid data and of responses to the distorted charges, and I have found it very troubling.
Just today, however, PM Olmert instructed Intelligence officers to do a briefing regarding Hezbollah duplicity: weapons received by Hezbollah shipped with what were supposed to be humanitarian supplies. Additionally, the IDF has begun sending films to media sources documenting such things as Hezbollah’s use of civilian areas for storage of rockets and launchers. It is a beginning and a great deal more is in order.
Please, on Israel’s behalf, disseminate the information above widely — use it to counter biased articles, write letters to the editor.
In the north, today was a ghastly day. Six rockets have hit Haifa — the worst rocket attack since the war started — killing three and wounding over 100. Near the border, 12 reservists who had just finished a briefing were hit, and killed. Ten people were killed in an attack near Kiryat Shmona. And on it goes.
It is increasing clear that we are not battling a terrorist militia, but troops that have been trained, advised and equipped by Iran. It becomes increasingly clear that this is the forefront of a very serious confrontation.
We continue to fight fiercely inside Lebanon. In every instance in which we have done battle within Lebanon with Hezbollah forces, we have come away victorious. We hit Beirut again today, and I have just heard that we took out the launching equipment near Tyre that was used for the attack on Haifa.
Condoleezza Rice is saying that the UN Security Council will vote on the compromise American-French resolution for a sustainable ceasefire in the next couple of days. "I would hope that you would see very early on an end to large-scale violence," she declared in a press conference, acknowledging that "skirmishes" will continue. She claims that once the resolution is passed Lebanon and Israel will be obligated to honor it. And Hezbollah?
But it is essential that we not step down before we have accomplished certain goals to substantially weaken if not totally destroy Hezbollah’s capacity to attack us.
Israel Television Channel Two defense affair correspondent Ronnie Daniel indicated just this evening that the barrage of rockets we are enduring now are being fired in large part from an area that we haven’t reached yet, close to the Litani River. According to Daniel, Peretz wanted to advance to the river last week but was overruled by Olmert. This is not the way to win!!! Olmert needs to stiffen his resolve. Several analysts, Daniel, and Aaron Lerner of IMRA among them, believe that Olmert will have no choice but to soon sanction movement northward and stay strong, because of the continuing Hezbollah attacks. To back down in the face of this would be political suicide, for the Israeli people continue to maintain courage and resolve.
Lebanon has already refused the terms of the ceasefire. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said as much during a press conference in Beirut, in which he claimed to be speaking for all of Lebanon. I will not here examine the draft proposal in detail. When and if it is voted on by the UNSC it will be time to do this. Sho
uld you want to see it, go to: http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=30491
A terrorist planning a suicide bombing, wearing a belt with 4 kilos of explosives, was caught in the Nablus area yesterday.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem entered Lebanon today, and mad a statement to the press after a meeting with the Lebanese foreign minister: "Syria is ready for the possibility of a regional war if the Israeli aggression continues."
At today’s Cabinet meeting, head of IDF intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin reported that we were holding captive a member of Hezbollah involved in planning and perpetrating the kidnapping of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.
This posting can be found at: https://arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/8/6/posted-august-6-2006.html