We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Real Photo Fakers, Real War Crimes

by JONATHAN COOK Friday, Aug. 18, 2006 at 5:56 PM

During Israel's war against the people of Lebanon, our media, politicians and diplomats have colluded with the aggressors by distracting us with irrelevancies, by concocting controversies, and by framing the language of diplomacy. In the fragile truce that is currently holding while Lebanon waits for Israel to withdraw, we are simply getting more of the same.

Real Photo Fakers
Real War Crimes

By JONATHAN COOK

Nazareth.

During Israel's war against the people of Lebanon, our media, politicians and diplomats have colluded with the aggressors by distracting us with irrelevancies, by concocting controversies, and by framing the language of diplomacy. In the fragile truce that is currently holding while Lebanon waits for Israel to withdraw, we are simply getting more of the same.

One example of the many distractions during the war that neatly reveals their true purpose is the "faked Reuters photograph" affair. The supposed scandal of a Lebanese photographer tampering with a picture to add and darken smoke from an Israeli missile attack -- to little or no effect, it should be noted -- has not only been decried by activists on Zionist websites but amplified by mainstream commentators into a debate about whether we can trust the images of this war.

Who benefits from these doubts? If we cannot be sure that this one photograph is genuine, then maybe many more that purportedly show some of the 1,000 Lebanese civilians killed by Israel's bombardment are fake too. Maybe the dead have been airbrushed in as easily as a puff of smoke. Maybe too, were the smoke removed, we would still be able to see that Israel has "the most moral army in the world".

The far worse photography scandal, which is not talked about, is that the images of the war we saw over the past month in our Western media were constantly doctored, day in, day out. Not by ordinary photographers who risk their lives, and hope to make their fortunes, conveying the reality of war, but by the senior executives of newspapers and TV stations who ensure we are never presented with that reality. Pictures were binned or cropped if they hinted at what suffering and death truly looked like. Western audiences were not shown the row of charred corpses lying in the street, or the agony of a son pressing a scrap of cloth to the severed arm of his mother as she bled to death, or the crushed baby pulled from the rubble.

Our news and picture editors say this is about good taste. They justify their decisions on the grounds that we should not exploit the victims of war by showing pornographic images of their death -- a useful excuse as we can never know what the dead would have chosen. More significantly, however, the exclusion of meaningful images of the human cost of war protects us from understanding the appalling consequences of Israel's military actions, an onslaught sanctioned and supported by our Western media, politicians and diplomats, and indirectly by our taxes.

How long would Israel's war have been allowed to continue if American audiences had seen those charred bodies or dead babies? How long would most Western viewers have remained silent if they were exposed to the kind of images shown daily on the Arabic satellite channels? Might we then start to understand why they hate us -- and more usefully why we should hate ourselves?

Much the same purpose has been satisfied in the diplomatic arena by the endless debates about whether Israel's offensive was "disproportionate" -- a word that raises a yawn almost the second it is uttered -- rather than whether it was necessary. And by the controversy initiated by the United Nations' Jan Egeland about the "cowardly blending" of Hizbullah fighters among Lebanese civilians, a comment he made while in Jerusalem, not Beirut, based on evidence he has never divulged. It is truly astonishing that the world's representative on humanitarian affairs made most impact in this war -- one in which more than 1,000 Lebanese were killed and in which hundreds of thousands more were made homeless -- trying to hold Hizbullah to account for the thousands of Israeli air strikes on civilian areas of Lebanon. Such is the upside-down logic and morality of our leaders.

And we are in the same territory again with the current discussions about how Lebanon and Israel will be rebuilt after the fighting. Reconstruction -- another word that provokes instant boredom -- fits the bill perfectly: both nations, we are told, will need billions of dollars to repair the damage done to their infrastructure. The story of astronomical losses conveys reassuringly to us a sense both of technical problems that will eventually be solved and of the ultimate symmetry and justice in the suffering of these two nations. Both peoples face a terrible financial burden imposed by war, both are equally deserving of our sympathy.

But let us pause. How precisely are these two nations' material losses equivalent? Israel's derive mostly from the enormous costs of its attacks on Lebanon, the tens of thousands of missiles fired into its towns and villages, that killed mostly civilians, and damage to the tanks, helicopters and warships that were the machinery needed to invade another sovereign country. Most of the rest of the cost will follow from losses in tourism revenue and investment, the consequences of a fall in confidence caused by Israel waging an unnecessary war for the return of two soldiers captured by Hizbullah rather than engage in negotiations. A small share of Israel's lost billions has been inflicted by the aggression of Hizbullah.

The material damage done to Lebanon is in a different category altogether. The bombed roads and bridges, the tens of thousands of homes in ruins, the destroyed power stations, factories and petrol stations, the oil slick across much of the Lebanese coast are the direct result of Israel's campaign of precision bombing of Lebanese civilian infrastructure.

Think of how your local court might consider the respective claims of these two nations if this were a domestic dispute between neighbors. Would a judge view with any sympathy a claim from a man demanding compensation from his neighbour for the damage done to his expensive sledgehammer after a destructive rampage through the neighbor's home, as well as for the loss of his reputation that followed the attack, as he found himself cast as the neighborhood pariah? Would it make any difference if it could be proved that his neighbor had sworn provocatively at him before he went on his rampage?

Incredibly, a similar claim may yet be heard -- and possibly sympathetically -- by the US civil courts if Israeli lawyers succeed in bringing a case for damages against the Lebanese government.

But all of this, like the "faked photograph affair", is another layer of distraction. The real issue that should be the most pressing matter at the top of the world's agenda is not an assessment of the mutual crimes against property but the mostly one-sided crimes against human beings -- the massive Israeli war crimes that have been committed throughout the past month in Lebanon, whose effects will continue as cluster bombs blow up returning refugees, and are still being committed every day against the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank.

This urgent moral case is being quietly overlooked in favor of the material damages story, and for reasons not hard to discern. Because if we concentrated on the tally of war crimes, Israel would come out the undoubted winner in both Lebanon and Gaza.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the author of the forthcoming "Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State" published by Pluto Press, and available in the United States from the University of Michigan Press. His website is www.jkcook.net
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 88 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Great article that addresses how rabid pro-israel loonies seized the "fake" phot Not a Dhimmi No More! Friday, Aug. 18, 2006 at 5:58 PM
Real war crimes--by the terror state of israel jfldg Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 6:52 PM
Terror and Freedom on the West Bank Matityahu Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 7:59 AM
(2nd try) PLEASE REMOVE FORGED POST!! Becky Johnson Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 8:33 AM
Oops! Looks like someone blew a gasket, guess it hit a nerve Truth always has that effect Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 8:35 AM
I just want the rules enforced Becky Johnson Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 8:43 AM
Truth and Justice Becky Johnson Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 9:18 AM
Becky Johnson, Second Try Marcus Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 9:19 AM
More Israeli terror Lover Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 11:02 AM
Reservations re: 'playing nice' TW Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 4:43 PM
"Judenrein" TW Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 5:06 PM
sorry- typo judenfrei Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 5:08 PM
anti-semitism What the hell are you talking about? Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 6:06 PM
Trillions of dollars can buy you whole armies of intellectual whores TW Monday, Aug. 21, 2006 at 11:28 AM
Also TW Monday, Aug. 21, 2006 at 11:30 AM
Intellectually impaired Becky J. Monday, Aug. 21, 2006 at 12:15 PM
Uh, there's a thing called 'idiom,' idiot... TW Monday, Aug. 21, 2006 at 9:18 PM
"Define terms. Stop using meaningless labels." since you asked . . . Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 11:29 AM
how so? Just the Facts, Mam... Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 11:53 AM
Yuh drool, Yiddo said Finkastein's wruong, so I guess he must be wruong, uuuuhh TW Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 12:00 PM
3 Dee Don't cha think? Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 12:30 PM
yes reader Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 12:50 PM
"Palestine is legally, historically and religiously where Israel ought to be." TW Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 1:14 PM
also notice Umpire Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 2:15 PM
this parrot is dead monti Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 2:32 PM
zionism... so missunderstood Being absurd Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 3:20 PM
well, that settles that Thought so Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 3:33 PM
Big Arab Oil money Rockefellerarabia Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 4:21 PM
an agency is for hire highest bidder Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 4:33 PM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

test O06 10:01AM

test O06 9:59AM

test O06 9:59AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

Shooting Drill's Are Political Actual Shootings O02 2:47PM

Dr. Ford's Father Works With CIA O02 2:44PM

Weaponizing Frequencies O02 2:41PM

Google Abuses: Worldwide Spying, Censorship, War Promotion, Spying On Children, Etc O02 11:08AM

Paraphysique de l'administration O02 8:34AM

Paraphysique O02 8:31AM

Affordable Rents? A State of Emergency Intensifies O01 11:36AM

A Few Of Many Impeachable Acts by Trump Sessions And Others O01 4:41AM

Désengrammation, l'éloge de la suite S30 7:01AM

someone Should Work In Hollywood - Good Acting! S28 2:55PM

Ford Gives Psych Drugs To Lower Class To Shut Them Up? S28 2:51PM

Hilllary Calls Ford Trailer Trash? S28 2:47PM

Most Rapes Are In Marriages S28 2:43PM

Nice Boys Dirty Deeds S28 2:41PM

Minnesota 2nd Largest Rape State S28 2:39PM

Paraphysique de la plus-value S28 7:18AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy