24 August 2006

Lazy, Malicious, or Something Inbetween

Don't believe the caption:

A Lebanese Red Cross ambulance worker peers from the roof top of an ambulance that was bombed, at the Red Cross station in Tyre, south Lebanon, August 1, 2006. The ambulance was hit on July 26 during an Israeli air raid. (Ali Hashisho/Reuters)
Becuase it's not even vaguely true:
Of all the exposés and scandals surrounding the media's coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in Lebanon, The Red Cross Ambulance Incident stands out as the most serious. The other exposés were spectacular in their simplicity (photographers staging scenes, clumsy attempts at Photoshopping images), but often concerned fairly trivial details.

The fact that the media was lying was indeed extremely important, and justified the publicity surrounding the exposés -- but what they were lying about was often minor, a slight fudging of the visuals to exaggerate the damage.

The ambulance incident, however, was anything but trivial. The media accused Israel of the most heinous type of war crime: intentionally targeting neutral ambulances which were attempting to rescue innocent victims. If true - and it is almost universally accepted as true - then Israel would lose any claim to moral superiority in the conflict. The commanders who ordered the strike should be brought up on war-crimes charges.

The Red Cross Ambulance Incident was perhaps the most damning of all the evidence against Israel, and the most morally indefensible. Which makes it all the more shocking to learn that the attack on the ambulances most likely never occurred, and that the "evidence" supporting the claim is in fact a hoax.

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