See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .The American Media are ignorant dupes. The Arab media may be dupes or they may be just going along with the program. But it is an asymmetric military program that is far more powerful than the bombs that are falling on either Lebanon or Israel. It is a manipulation of the media, used to invoke hate anger, fear, guilt-- just like the beheadings in Iraq.
Hizbollah knows. They knew when they shot their first big, 500 pound warhead rocket, and if they didn't know, CNN and other media experts told them (believe me. They already knew) that the bigger rocket, with its bigger launcher, would make a better, easier target for the Israelis. They knew that the Israelis would, with their aerial surveillance tracking, use laser guided missiles to shoot back at wherever Hizbollah fired it's missiles from.
Hizbollah knew that when they fired their new, bigger missile from the apartment building where 60+ civilians were killed, that the Israelis would fire back. That's the way Hizbollah works. The civilians are considered martyrs. The civilians, including the children don't have a choice. They don't know, and aren't warned. it's part of the value of the strategic location for Hizbollah for them not to know, not to have a choice.
We live in a new world where warfare is no longer symmetrical. The war participant with less firepower, with less air power is not necessarily going to lose. The war participant who uses media more effectively can often take a commanding position, can even cause its opponent to back down, even to give up territory. Asymmetric warfare can develop new allies, can galvanize volunteers and turn the populace and the world press against the opposition. Donald Rumsfeld knows ALL about it. He is dealing with it every day in Iraq. Iran understands it. North Korea understands it. I'm sure it has been explained to Bush, but it may be a bit beyond his brain capacity. He should get it though, since it's a social phenomenon and he's usually brilliant with interpersonal kinds of challenges.
So, when Israel took Hizbollah's bait, and fired at the location where the rockets were fired, it was falling into a trap-- not a trap that killed a few Israeli soldiers-- much worse, it was a trap that drastically worsened Israel's already bad image in the world. It was a trap that by proxy, also made the USA's image much worse. It was a trap that made it much harder for Israel to publicly justify, to "sell" its reasons for continuing the onslaught, reasons which were already being challenged.
This trap also embarassed the USA, identified by Hizbollah and most of the rest of the world as the enabler and sponsor of Israel and Israel's aggression in Lebanon. A visit to Lebanon by Condeleeza Rice was cancelled by the Lebanese Prime Minister. The world's media, outside the USA, has come down hard on both Israel and the USA. This is a result of asymmetric warfare-- luring conventional military personnel and equipment into a trap that results in victims and resultant massive media response, usually with outrage.
Of course, Israel fired the missiles. A person or multiple people made decisions or set policy that allowed the carnage to happen. Israel has major responsibility for the deaths. But the world already knows that. The media are making sure of that. Israel's renown for military prowess is for conventional warfare. it is clear that Israel is no competition for Hizbollah. Nassrullah, the leader of Hizbollah could teach both the US and Israel about asymmetric warfare. And they better learn. The world is growing weary of the way things LOOK for the US and Israel, the way it APPEARS the US and Israel are behaving. They are failing to get the message out, through the media, that Hizbollah is intentionally setting up civilians to become victims of Israeli attacks.
There have to be better ways to deal with the real problems the Israelis face. The Bush administration and its partners in Israel have both shown that they do NOT have the ability to win at asymmetric warfare. They have been failing at it for six years. Any solution that comes to the middle east must include changes of leadership. That probably means another two years of stupid, antiquated conventional war thinking and sadly, many more civilian deaths and probably, new conflicts, probably bringing Syria and Iran, either directly with the US or through the USA's surrogate pawn, Israel.