The word “blog” has become a familiar part of our vocabulary. It is an abbreviated form of weblog, an evolving type of website on which “bloggers” express their views on everything from food to politics. Some are frivolous, others blatantly contain misinformation and yet others are plainly hoaxes. On the other hand, there are many serious blogs and web sites containing important and valuable information, which stimulate serious discussion among opinion makers.
In fact bloggers can no longer be ignored. They have become the latest trend in journalism while gaining increasing credibility and penetrating the preserves of the mainstream news media. In the USA they even join poiticos on campaign trips and in many cases they have driven the media to investigate matters, which would otherwise have gone unnoticed. The definition of communication “media” must now add “bloggers” to the press, radio and television. All have a profound influence on our lives
With the focus of world attention on the Middle East conflict, Bloggers have raised pertinent and very serious questions about the accuracy of mainstream media reports on the Qana tragedy. They have even produced credible evidence suggesting that the scenes we have witnessed on TV were skillfully staged.
At a press conference, IAF chief of staff General Amir Eshel said there had been three air strikes on Qana on June 30. Only the first strike, which occurred at 01.00 hit the building in which the civilians were staying; the other two bombs hit areas at least 400 meters away. He added that foreign press statements reported that the building did not collapse until about 08.00 creating an unexplained gap of about seven hours.
With the increasing credibility of bloggers, allegations raised by them that Hizbullah may have staged the Kana tragedy on June 30, cannot be ignored. Bloggers have suggested that this time delay gives rise to several theories about the ultimate cause of the collapse. Was it perhaps due to explosives stored in the building?
It also raises the question why the militants left the building and allowed only weaker adults and children to remain.
The IAF chief’s statement has been confirmed by the Israelinsider blog, which wrote that Brent Sadler of CNN reported that the Israeli ordnance did not even hit the building but landed “20 or 30 meters” from the structure, that the roof of the building was intact and that journalist Ben Wedeman of CNN noted that there was a large crater next to the building, but observed that the building appeared not to have collapsed as a result of the Israeli strike.
It questions “Why would the civilians who had supposedly taken shelter in the basement of the building not leave after the post-midnight attack? They just went back to sleep and had the bad luck to wait for the building to collapse in the morning?
National Public Radio’s correspondent reported that residents of that building had left and the victims were non-residents who chose to shelter in the building that night.
What we do know is that sometime after dawn a call went out to journalists and rescue workers to come to the scene. And come they did, in droves.
Lebanese rescue teams did not start evacuating the building until the morning and only after the camera crews came. The absence of a real rescue effort was explained by saying that equipment was lacking. There were no scenes of live or injured people being extracted.
The blog cited a CNN report that the victims had died in their sleep. It seemed highly improbable, the piece asserted, that people could have slept “through thunderous Israeli air attacks. There was little blood, on the victims CNN’s Wedeman noted.
The blog also speculates that the setting was perfect for a propaganda scoop. Ten years ago, Qana was the focus of world condemnation of an errant Israeli shell that hit a civilian compound. Now it was used as a primary site for launching more than 150 rockets against Israel, thus drawing an Israel air force attack. Just as the Israeli bombing of Qana in 1996 brought a premature end to Operation “Grapes of Wrath,” so too, they figured, Qana II could damage Israel.
The blog suggests that the scenario would be a setup in which the time between the initial Israeli bombing near the building and morning reports of its collapse would be used to “plant” bodies killed in previous fighting, (reports in previous days indicated that nearby Tyre was used as a temporary morgue), place them in the basement and then engineer a “controlled demolition” to fake another Israeli attack.
(http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/060730/photos_wl_me_afp/9034cf170a188a04a5e80bd48812ca98 ). The date and time of the dispatch (AFP/Ramzi Haidar) AFP – Sun Jul 30, 2:36 PM ET are highly significant.
On his web site, Stephen Pollard queries how the Hizbollah was able to produce this huge poster so quickly – a question any serious, even junior, journalist, anxious to discover the truth, should ask. (http://www.stephenpollard.net/002754.html)
A professional poster maker advised Pollard that the 30-foot banner could only have been prepared in advance of the Qana tragedy, leading to serious questions about whether the entire event was staged. The poster-maker added that just putting that large picture together would be an all day affair for most print houses even with a grand format printer. In addition time would be required to transport it and the cost would be in the thousands. Pollard concedes that this may be a red herring. But given Hezbollah’s media savvy, and their contempt for human life, he says it’s far from impossible that they staged the entire thing.
The blog calls the main actor “Green Helmet” because of his olive green hard hat. In some pictures he has a radio in his jacket pocket and his hands are bare. In others the Radio is absent and he is wearing gloves. The several shots are clearly posed.
Whether or not it is eventually proved that there is substance to the queries that have been raised, Kudos are due to the blogging generation for taking a concerned interest in the world around them and for pointing the way back to in-depth investigative reporting