8/08/2006

Qana conspiracies

A Reuters photographer, Adnan Hajj, was found guilty of doctoring photos of Beirut. That's truly disgusting. Propaganda of the basest sort.

However, others now assume that because this photographer faked his photos, that the Qana massacre is somehow also suspect. This too is repugnant. Jefferson Morley has an important blog entry at the Washington Post that addresses the evolving blogsphere attempts to deny Qana.

It is important to note that most of the innocents killed at Qana were of two large families, the Hashim family and the Shalhoub family. The bulk of the arguments by the Qana-deniers have been definitively refuted by the doggged and diligent reporting in the mainstream press, especially Anthony Shadid of the WaPo and Nicholas Blanford of the Daily Star.

Morley directly contacted one of the Qana deniers to ask him about his claims:

As for EU Referendum's claim that a Lebanese rescue worker seen in many photos from Qana was a "Hezbollah official," I e-mailed co-author of the site, Richard North, to ask for his evidence.

"All I have to go on is gut instinct," North replied.

I appreciate his candor. It confirms that he has no evidence to support the central claim of his blog posts.

North says he is just trying to "raise questions," which is certainly a legitimate goal. My question is: What is it about the photos from Qana that made Israel's supporters prefer fantasy to fact?


emphasis mine, for the implications are subtle yet profound.

Those who deny Qana, and attempt to relegate it to a hoax, are as guilty of propaganda as Adnan Hajj. It is the right-wing equivalent of the 9-11 conspiracy theories, and deserves as much scorn for its moral emptiness.

UPDATE: Ace of Spades HQ has a handsome mea culpa and debunking post on Qana-denial up.

3 comments:

ScottSA said...

I would argue that it is rather more than gut instinct that leads to the conclusion that the fellow in the green helmet is a Hezbollah official.

For one thing, he is spotted yet again in Tyre, a week later http://lighthorse.blogspot.com/2006/08/hey-ive-seen-him-before.html emoting over another fatality, this time allegedly of a "bread" truck driver.

Its possible of course that he just gets around a lot, but somehow he managed to pop up a decade earlier, fulfilling the same role then too...producing anguished faces for the camera as the victims are trotted out for camera perusal.

thabet said...

Damn those Arabs. How dare they claim to suffer! Don't they know suffering is only for white Westerners?

Aziz Poonawalla said...

note that I am not arguing that all photos from the fray are totally believable. I never really was foolish enough to assume that there wasn't some "posing" going on, esp in photos in urban areas. "Dead man walking" is a good example of something that should be obvious is going on.

In fact both sides employ propaganda - after all, most of the "free press in Iraq" that President Bush boasted about was really funded and directed by military psyops.

But Qana was different. It's not just some photos and a report. There were plenty of third-party observers who verified it - I linked to two in my post - and it's just foolishness to dismiss that.