Patterico's Pontifications

7/17/2006

L.A. Times on Pretextual Israeli Offensives

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,War — Patterico @ 6:53 am



A front-page article in the L.A. Times says:

JERUSALEM What began as a pair of hasty military incursions aimed at getting back captured Israeli soldiers has evolved with breathtaking swiftness into a full-blown campaign by Israel against two of its bitterest enemies, the Islamist groups Hezbollah and Hamas.

Surprised twice by small-scale border raids less than three weeks apart, Israeli leaders have made a deliberate policy decision to seize the opportunity — some call it a pretext — to mount simultaneous large-scale offensives. The goal of each operation is to smash a guerrilla organization that is also deeply entrenched in the business of governance.

One guess as to how the author of the piece feels about the Israeli operations.

[IRONY ALERT:] You know, maybe Mossad agents kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit themselves! After all, I guarantee you “some” say that, too.

UPDATE: Also, don’t miss the first sentence of the lead article today, which calls Israel’s fight against Hezbollah a “blood feud.”

Imagine someone using that term to describe our battle against Al Qaeda.

Moral equivalence: you just gotta love it.

28 Responses to “L.A. Times on Pretextual Israeli Offensives”

  1. Maybe they should be reading Michael Totten’s blog.

    Here is his description of the border between Israel and Lebanon this spring, including a prediction from an IDF lieutenant of exactly what happened last week.

    Mike K (416363)

  2. I guess the L.A. Slimes also wasn’t aware of the hundreds of rockets launched from Lebanon against Israel BEFORE the “pretext” of the soldiers being kidnapped.

    Justin Levine (20f2b5)

  3. Some say that the LA Times is a treasonous rag.

    CraigC (9cd021)

  4. And did you see this morning’s paper:
    1. Describing Israel vs Hez as a “blood fued”
    (those excitable mid-easterners) not a war against terrorism.
    2. The full page picture of Beirut (I seem to have missed pictures of damage in Haifa)

    The LAT is becoming a caricature.

    Jack (a9896a)

  5. Sounds like the LATimes is getting their “framing” from reading the leftside of the blogsphere.

    Either this is all a “conspiracy” by the Bu$hCoZionists to go after Iran/Syria or Israel is also ruled by a stupid, never served in the military, head of state and the US is an “Israeli-enabler”. Or there’s all the lamentations (or exorcations) because the US is not “managing” Israel (as if it were an unrulely child throwing a tantrum).

    And in all of it I’m just flabbergasted by the refusal of these people to give more than a passing handwave to the responsibility of Hamas and Hezbollah in starting all this.

    Darleen (81f712)

  6. oops… excoriations

    need.more.coffee.

    Darleen (81f712)

  7. When Arabs criticize Arabs ……

    rather than Israel, it’s time to find out if it’s winter in Hell. NYTimesBEIRUT, Lebanon, July 16 — With the battle between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah raging, key Arab governments have taken the rare step of blaming Hezbollah,……

    Darleen's Place (1650a7)

  8. You don’t expect them to admit that Israel was deliberately provoked, do you?

    sharon (fecb65)

  9. I think it is safe to assume that anytime a reporter writes “Some say. . .” he or she is really acknowledging “My editors and I say. . .” It is almost fascinating how much low-rent journalism passes through this paper nowadays.

    JVW (d667c9)

  10. Note that Laura King is an author of this story, along with a name I haven’t seen a lot, Megan Stack, on a couple other articles the last two days. Laura King is consistently sympathetic to and an advocate for the Palestinian cause.

    Over the past couple of years, Israeli-Palestinian conflicts normally have been co-reported by Ken Ellingwood, who is much more balanced and moderate, though he has been noticeably absent recently.

    nosh (d8da01)

  11. They’re taking their talking points from the disingenuous editors of The (Idiotic) Nation. The MSM’ers plus the Nation…whew. The Islomafascistas will never recover.

    MTF (335f9f)

  12. yes, the way the times reporter wrote it, she might be pro-palestinian.
    and the way patterico commented on it, he might be pro-israeli.
    since i’m pro-american, i just want to see a peaceful resolution soon, and reimbursement to america for the value of any assets destroyed in this engagement, by the party who destroyed them.
    that shouldn’t be an unreasonable position for anybody who puts the interests of america first.

    assistant devil's advocate (7c7219)

  13. yes, the way the times reporter wrote it, she might be pro-palestinian.
    and the way patterico commented on it, he might be pro-israeli.

    Not to belabor the point we have made, oh, about a thousand times, but don’t you think the reporter and her editors ought to do a little bit more to scrub her pro-Palestinian bias from what is supposedly objective news reporting? Patterico’s Pontifications is a blog, and our host is honest and upfront about where he is coming from. If you want to admit that the LA Times is irretrievably biased even in its news coverage, I will accept and welcome the acknowledgment. Otherwise, you should support attempts to hold them accountable for a more even-handed take on the news of the day.

    JVW (d667c9)

  14. American assets destroyed? What’s this about?

    Oh, by the way, does anyone know whether the USA ever compensated China for the damage to its embassy in Belgrade?

    Milhouse (e16dc7)

  15. I’m pro-people fighting terrorism.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  16. @jvw:
    “if you want to admit that the la times is irretrievably biased even in its news coverage…”
    i don’t know that the bias is irretrievable, maybe if the times swapped editors with the wall street journal or fox news, they could retrieve each other’s biases. i admit to light to moderate bias there. all newspapers have bias because they’re run by people. “objective journalist” is an oxymoron.
    good for patterico being pro-people fighting terrorism. terrorism is a subjective matter, depending on your perspective. palestinians whose children have been blown to bits in an israeli airstrike might well consider the israelis terrorists, just as israeli citizens feel the same way about the people shooting rockets at them. the relatives of the iraqi family which was recently murdered by american soldiers just because the soldiers took a shine to their 14-year old daughter might well consider american soldiers to be terrorists. i agree that terror is bad, i just don’t agree that any one side has a monopoly on it.

    assistant devil's advocate (70f2b4)

  17. ” palestinians whose children have been blown to bits in an israeli airstrike might well consider the israelis terrorists, just as israeli citizens feel the same way about the people shooting rockets at them”

    How about Palestinians whose children have been “blown to bits” by suicide bomb belts they strapped on ? One Hamas parliament member is a woman who has had three children commit suicide as bombers. I’m sure you blame Israel for that too but could you concede just a tiny bit that the Palestinian society is sick ? They were offered a serious proposal for a state with lots of support from America and Europe in 2000. The Barak proposal would have dismantled most West Bank settlements and returned Israel to the 1967 borders plus about 5% of territory near Jerusalem.

    The alliance between the left and the Palestinians is amazing. Israel is a socialist state ! You’d think they would be supporters. I’m convinced it is a form of cultural suicide. Many of Britain’s ruling class supported the Nazis in the 1930s. Some of that was fear of communism but a lot was a disgust with their own culture and a yearning for a “strong virile ruler” who would slap down those importunate lower classes. The left here and in Europe seem to yearn for a similar force that would validate their own disgust, except this time it is with themselves. The Islamists would be chopping heads off the moonbats the day after they took over but I get a sense that it would be OK with many of them as long as George Bush got his too.

    Mike K (416363)

  18. i concede that it is sick, at least from my perspective, to strap a bomb on your own kid. i don’t know to what extent this is based on a foreign cultural approach, versus desperate straits calling for desperate measures. desperate straits bring out all kinds of odd, apparently self-destructive behavior, from kamikaze pilots all the way back to jews jumping off the cliff at masada.
    “many of britain’s ruling class supported the nazis in the 1930s…”…starting with their king, who was actually german, not british.
    “the alliance between the left and the palestinians is amazing…” no more so than the alliance between neoconservatives and israel. many neocons who wouldn’t let a jew sit down at their poker table yet exhibit knee-jerk zionism, in part, i am told, because the existence of israel is a precondition for the christian apocalypse. maybe jesus will come back as a blogger; imagine the trolls, the flame-wars…
    in case of rapture, i’m taking your car!

    assistant devil's advocate (2ed1ea)

  19. ““the alliance between the left and the palestinians is amazing…” no more so than the alliance between neoconservatives and israel. many neocons who wouldn’t let a jew sit down at their poker table yet exhibit knee-jerk zionism, in part, i am told, because the existence of israel is a precondition for the christian apocalypse. ”

    You’re getting your ethnic groups mixed up. In most of the left, “neocon” is a synonym for Jew. Have they now become Christian fundamentalists ? Any examples ?

    “maybe jesus will come back as a blogger; imagine the trolls, the flame-wars…
    in case of rapture, i’m taking your car!

    Comment by assistant devil’s advocate”

    There is a lot of support for Israel from Christian fundamentalists. I’m told that African Christians want to visit Jerusalem like Muslims want to vist Mecca. After all, the territory of Israel and the West Bank are the major site of Christian origins. That’s a long way from “neocon” support for an aggressive foreign policy. It may suit your side in trying to conflate national policy and religion but they are not related except in your mind.

    Christian support for Israel may have increased as a result of the barbarity of the Taliban and the invasion of Christian holy places in the West bank. Arabs are obviously not suitable custodians of religious sites except their own. And maybe not even those.

    Mike K (416363)

  20. ADD:

    If you’re going to be providing examples to Mike of Christian fundi neo-cons (as opposed to simply conservatives), perhaps you’d also be so kind as to name some who are unwilling to have a Jew sit down at their poker table, or more broadly, refuse to sit down with them at all?

    The Matthew Hale types, after all, aren’t usually fans of Israel at all, even if they were going to precipitate the Apocalypse.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  21. “the alliance between the left and the palestinians is amazing…” no more so than the alliance between neoconservatives and israel. many neocons who wouldn’t let a jew sit down at their poker table yet exhibit knee-jerk zionism, in part, i am told, because the existence of israel is a precondition for the christian apocalypse.

    Maybe, just maybe, us conservatives (of all stripes, not just the neo-types) like Israel because we see a liberal democracy where all religions are tolerated and where free markets are honored. I will acknowledge that I can’t speak for the Left, but I have a suspicion that lots of them support the Palestinian cause out of some sort of sentimentality for hopeless causes. Unfortunately, this is the classic case where the hopeless cause has a chance to create a better life for itself, but instead chooses to stew in its own animosity and victimhood status.

    JVW (d667c9)

  22. The Palestinians are certainly worthy examples of victims but they have spurned multiple opportunities to better their situation. They have been repeatedly betrayed by their Arab bretheren and now by Iran. They have been pawns for 50 years. Even the Lebanese are now recognizing those facts and trying to throw off the Syrians, an evil regime if ever there was one. Why can’t the Palestinians see this ? They had a golden opportunity in 2000 and lost it. They seem to choose death every time there is an option. I think some of it is Islam but the Saudis show how cynical devout Muslims can be with their pleasure palaces in the Riviera and Aspen.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  23. Here is an explanation of Palestinian behavior that answers a lot of my querstions but does not provide much hope for improvement. One striking comment in this essay is the statement that few Palestinians are aware of the 2000 proposal for a viable Palestinian state. Arafat never told them and they have few sources of information. Maybe Radio Free Palestine is overdue.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  24. I agree with the critics. Israel should only use proportionate responses. So here goes: daily rockets into random cities, kidnappings, bombing on ice cream parlors (or whatever they have in Gaza).

    Then there would be no excuse for Europe to complain. I dare any report to ask this of Chirac: “So you’d have no complaints – whatsoever – if Israel used a proportionate response? Ok, we’ll see!”

    Nate (179d16)

  25. Iran will fund and aid its allies in Lebanon (and Iraq) but it has been doing that anyway. It won’t intervene directly with its military, which is what a regional war would require. And no Arab nation wants to take on Israel directly (or the US for that matter). Of course anything is possible where humans are involved, but I think all the talk about regional war (much less world war) is extremely overblown.

    francis Hearn (9e43cb)

  26. Israel has what it takes to lay any and all of her enemies to waste. It’s just a question of escalation and political will.

    Israel could end this current conflict by tonight if they wanted to, but they’d face international condemnation for reducing Lebanon- and Hezbollah- to glowing green shards of glass.

    Annet (9e43cb)

  27. This is one thing that bugged me when I was a copy editor — reporters cheating by using the mysterious “some.” As in “according to some” or “some would say,” etc. Often there’s no explanation in the story for who the “some” represents. That tells you either the reporter is inserting his own thoughts, or is just parroting what he’s read somewhere else. I think the practice should be banned in newsrooms everywhere. If somebody’s really saying it, then just say who they are on first reference! And if you can’t, leave it out.

    It’s similar to the interview tactic “What would you say to people who say…” Just once, I want to hear an interviewee respond, “If anyone ever actually says that to me, I’ll come up with a response at that time.”

    Steve M. (53504d)

  28. […] I posted about the lead stories in this newspaper the day the stories ran. One article called the battle between Israel and Hezbollah a “blood feud,” while another said that “some” believed that Israel was using a “pretext” to attack. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » The Incredible Anti-Israel Bias of the L.A. Times (421107)


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