imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

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




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities 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 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

Devastation: Made in U.$.A.

by IMPEACH BU$H Tuesday, Sep. 05, 2006 at 11:16 AM


Devastation:  Made i...
lebanon.jpg, image/jpeg, 350x233

Turning Rubble into Rhetoric

With war's debris as backdrop, Hezbollah seeks to stoke anti-U.S. sentiment and gain Lebanese support

by Mohamad Bazzi

HARET HREIK, Lebanon - Hezbollah has a message for everyone entering this south Beirut neighborhood: The devastation all around was "Made in USA."

A sign posted by Hezbollah on the ruins of a building reads, "Made in USA trademark, the Divine Vic[t]ory " in the southern suburb of Haret Hreik in Beirut, Lebanon. Many Lebanese are coming to the destroyed neighborhoods in Beirut to witness the damage, so extreme that residents of the areas can not return home. (Getty Images)

Now that the fighting is over, the propaganda war has begun. Using the rubble and widespread destruction in Haret Hreik, Hezbollah's public relations department has gone into high gear to garner international sympathy and win over Lebanese domestic opinion.

In the Beirut equivalent of a Madison Avenue ad campaign, the Shia militant group has decorated mountains of rubble where dozens of buildings stood with giant red-and-white banners. Printed in English and Arabic, they bear slogans such as "Made in USA," "The New Middle Beast" and "Smart Bombs for Dumb Minds."

Hezbollah also is organizing daily tours of the destruction for visiting diplomats, Lebanese politicians, business leaders and others who want to see. This campaign is directed not so much against Israel, which caused the devastation during 34 days of intense bombing, but at the United States. It supplied Israel with weapons and provided diplomatic support for Israel to continue its offensive despite international appeals for a quick cease-fire.

"People knew during the war that these were American bombs falling on us, in Israeli hands," said Ghassan Darwish, a Hezbollah official in charge of the propaganda effort. "People are receptive to these slogans, especially 'Made in USA.'"

But to Hezbollah's critics, the campaign is intended to deflect attention from the militia's abduction of two Israeli soldiers on July 12, which provoked the war. Initially, many Lebanese - especially Sunnis, Christians and members of the Druze minority - were angry at Hezbollah for dragging the country into a war. As the Israeli offensive intensified, killing hundreds of civilians and destroying Lebanon's infrastructure, that anger turned toward Israel and the United States.

"There is an effort by Hezbollah to obscure its own actions and the consequences they had," said Mohammad Abi Samra, an editor at the Beirut-based An-Nahar newspaper and a Hezbollah critic. "By blaming America, Hezbollah wants to tell the Lebanese people that this was a conspiracy against it and capturing the two soldiers did not matter ... Lebanese are angry at America and Israel, but they still blame Hezbollah for its role in this war."

Denouncing White House

From the war's early days, Hezbollah leader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah focused on the United States and its backing of Israel. In an Aug. 3 speech broadcast on the group's TV station, Nasrallah claimed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was carrying out American wishes by attacking Lebanon. "The ones who bear most responsibility for what has happened since the first day of this war - in killing, massacres and destruction - are Bush and his administration," Nasrallah said. "Olmert and his government are only tools that carry out the orders."

In this context, analysts say, it is natural for Hezbollah to direct its postwar public relations offensive at the United States. By extension, the group also is targeting U.S. allies in the Lebanese government, including Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. After a United Nations-brokered cease-fire on Aug. 14, some pro-U.S. members of the government tried to open a debate about disarming Hezbollah.

But the militia was bolstered by its own surprising tenacity and its ability to inflict heavy casualties on Israeli forces and prevent them from capturing significant territory. In Lebanon and throughout the Arab world, Hezbollah was seen as having scored a victory over a far superior Israeli military. That gave Hezbollah (Arabic for "Party of God") new leverage, and its leaders now argue that it must keep its weapons to defend against future Israeli attacks.

Touting a 'victory'

While it showcases the destruction, Hezbollah is also quick to capitalize on its military success. On the roads into Haret Hreik, the group covered billboards normally advertising cigarettes and perfume with posters proclaiming "The Divine Victory." The banners have silhouettes of fighters, some holding machine guns, others standing next to a rocket launcher.

Hezbollah's "victory" came at a high price for the tens of thousands of families who lived in Haret Hreik. It was the most densely populated neighborhood in south Beirut, a crowded swath of apartment buildings known as dahiya, or the suburbs. It is the Shia Muslim heartland, the place where Hezbollah draws its most loyal support and where many of its leaders live.

Today, fire trucks rumble through the streets, followed by backhoes and cranes busy clearing the roads of mangled concrete, broken glass and wooden beams. Everywhere, there are mountains of rubble, great mounds of cement blocks, twisted sheets of corrugated metal and spaghettis of iron bars.

Nearly 200 buildings have been reduced to mounds of detritus. The sides were sheared off many others, exposing ceiling fans, beds, kitchens, toilets, televisions, refrigerators. Whole buildings were collapsed, their top stories pancaked, telescoping down into each other.

Hundreds of people walk through the rubble every day, some to inspect their destroyed homes and businesses, others simply to see what happened to a once-bustling neighborhood. Many stop to snap pictures with cameras or cell phones. Unlike average Lebanese, politicians and visiting dignitaries - including UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and several European ministers - receive a special tour from Hezbollah.

The first stop is the headquarters of Al Manar, the militia's television station that never went off the air despite repeated Israel bombings of all its buildings. Hezbollah has set up a white tent outside the mountain of charred rubble where Al Manar's main studio used to stand, with TV cameras recording visitors and often broadcasting live when a foreign dignitary shows up.

Ahmed Naeem, a Hezbollah member who leads tours of the area, points to the rubble all around. "There was a school; there, four apartment buildings; there, two buildings," he said. "Too many buildings to count."

Altogether, Israeli air strikes destroyed Al Manar's studio, plus nine surrounding buildings. Eight other apartment buildings on that block were severely damaged and Naeem said several of them might be torn down.

"Everyone is visiting," Naeem said excitedly. "We've had ministers, ambassadors, civil society groups, the Beirut Chamber of Commerce. Everyone!"

The wreckage is filled with red banners announcing Hezbollah's "victory." Other signs mock Israeli and U.S. claims that the bombing avoided civilian areas. One banner, wedged in the remains of a large apartment building, proclaims, "Extremely Accurate Targets."

"We've been getting these slogans from the war itself," said Darwish, the campaign's coordinator. "They're the slogans that the Americans and Israelis were using." For example, he and his graphic artists turned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's vow that the war would lead to a "New Middle East" into a poster saying "The New Middle Beast," with the word beast splashed across the banner like blood.

Longtime campaign

Since its founding in the 1980s, Hezbollah has mastered the art of propaganda. Before the war, south Beirut was dotted with stores selling militia accessories. Hezbollah flags, key chains, stickers and pins that light up could be bought for less than a dollar each. A yellow T-shirt with the group's logo - a clenched fist holding an AK-47 - sold for about . The militia also produced video games and omnipresent posters of its "martyrs," young men who died fighting Israel.

But Hezbollah's most effective propaganda tools were the dozens of videotapes it produced during its 18-year guerrilla war with Israel, which ended in May 2000 when Israeli troops withdrew from southern Lebanon. Hezbollah greatly increased the impact of its attacks by secretly videotaping them and distributing the tapes to news agencies. The videos often were shown on the nightly TV news in Israel, and that contributed to public pressure on the Israeli government to pull out of Lebanon.

In the latest war, Hezbollah designers worked on victory posters, stickers and banners - even while the bombs were falling on Haret Hreik.

"We never stopped working for one day during the fighting," Darwish said. "We were preparing our divine victory posters while the war was going on. Every day, we had to come up with something new."

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 11 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
666 THE DEVIL (GEORGE WARMONGER BUSH) on Arming IDF IAF SS LIKUD NAZIS & Killing Civilians 666 THE DEVIL (GEORGE WARMONGER BUSH) Wednesday, Sep. 06, 2006 at 5:10 AM
Rocket Launchers for Peace Becky Johnson Wednesday, Sep. 06, 2006 at 12:32 PM
Project Mockingbecky worker Wednesday, Sep. 06, 2006 at 12:45 PM
the kidnapped soldiers WTHF? Wednesday, Sep. 06, 2006 at 5:01 PM
another version from CNN just the Facts, Mam... Wednesday, Sep. 06, 2006 at 5:28 PM
no no no... use this The heh Wednesday, Sep. 06, 2006 at 5:36 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


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

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