Friday, July 21, 2006

Hezbollah's official web site

Just in case you're one of those people who mistrusts the American media, you can get your Hezbollah information right from the mullah's mouth at the terrorist group's official web site. is, as you might expect, a propaganda site where Hezbollah refers to its activities as "resistance" and the florid speeches of its leader are printed in their full (if occasionally impenetrable) glory. But if you want to see how "the other side" views this conflict, take a look.


Michael Gillespie said...

If you're one of those people who mistrust the American media, you're in good company. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) is in the vanguard of media criticism, striving to keep the mandarins of the Fourth Estate, and their minions, the nation's watchdogs, honest. FAIR was founded by Jeff Cohen, one of those annoying liberals no doubt, and the organization has been doing good and increasingly important work for some 20 years.

Would you disagree, Ron?

Ron Franscell said...

Well, Michael, I think I can get you a great deal on a subscription to the Hezbollah News!

Media critics abound, both professional and amateurs. Some of the best are actually in news media. If you want leftist criticism of the media, you can find it; if you want conservative criticism of the media you can find it. Want critics of the critics? They're out there.

Once again, you have succeeded only in pointing out something insanely obvious: American media has critics. Stop the presses!

But here's something that might truly shock you: Not everyone hates the media. Two million households buy USA Today and the Wall Street Journal every day; another 1.5 million the New York Times. NPR has a devoted following. Millions watch each network evening news program every night, and on night like tonight, probably tens of millions watch CNN, MSNBC and Fox. Local newspapers, weeklies and dailies, have over 100 million subscribers.

Chances are you wouldn't know half of what you know about the world's current events unless a trained, devoted reporter witnessed it and told the story.

American reporters are human. They err. Your mistakes are hidden; theirs are published for thousands to see. Much can be better about my craft, without a doubt. I've spent my life in it, and I will die in it. I will never stop trying to tell stories that I think should be told. You might not like it, and that's OK with me.

But the mainstream American media still believes in you, even if you don't believe in it. Sorry, but that's your burden to bear, not mine.

If you think you'll get better news from Hezbollah than from the New York Times, by all means become a subscriber. But I gotta warn you ... when you complain about delivery, they'll shoot you!

Anonymous said...

atta boy, Ron

Michael Gillespie said...

Why would I want to read the Hezbollah News, Ron? There's plenty of authoritative, cogent, scathing criticism of US and Israeli criminality right here at home, from real conservatives like this accomplished newspaperman and columnist and this Republican who is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury and this U.S. Congressman who represents a district little more than a stone's throw from your door.

Who do you think you're fooling?

Ron Franscell said...

Your suspicion that there's some kind of ulterior motive sounds paranoid.

But you just proved my earlier post's point: "Media critics abound, both professional and amateurs. Some of the best are actually in news media. If you want leftist criticism of the media, you can find it; if you want conservative criticism of the media you can find it. Want critics of the critics? They're out there."

You sound as if you don't want a press that's truly as fair as humans can be. It sounds like you want a press that agrees with you. For most people, that's the definition of "fair." But it ain't.

Again, the media isn't perfect. I am regularly enraged, disgusted and embarrassed by things I read and see. That's the nature of a free press: Everybody does it their own way.

As with our justice system, if you can find a better notion than a free, unfettered press anywhere in the world, bring it here and we'll discuss it. Jefferson called it a watchdog ... from which we must put up with a little extraneous barking.

I am fooling nobody.

Michael Gillespie said...

You wrote: "I am fooling nobody." I disagree. You may not intend to deceive anyone, but you are most certainly deceiving some. Many of your readers look up to you and take what you say at face value, uncritically, because they respect and trust you and are impressed by your abilities and the position you occupy. You owe it to them, to the profession, and more importantly to yourself to be worthy of that trust and respect. It pains me, as a fellow journalist and as one who likewise respects your abilities and your accomplishments, to see you implicitly defend ethnic cleansing, collective punishment, and other black letter law war crimes and crimes against humanity in your writings here. As you may have noticed, my disgust with that kind of bias is the basis for my often voiced criticism of mainstream media.

The power of modern media, to do good or to do ill, is tremendous. The abuse of that power by those who promote conflict along ethnic and religious lines for profit and narrow, partisan political motives threatens civilization as we know it. The risk of disaster is writ large in the mornings headlines.

In your opinion, who is the best critic "actually in news media?"

Anonymous said...

As commander of a Nazi einsatzgruppen death squad in occupied Poland, Dr. Werner Best came to believe that the most effective response to terrorism was collective punishment. After the fall of France he went on to draft the Third Reich's counterterrorism policy for countries occupied by Germany. Towns where acts of "passive" resistance such as the cutting of telegraph cables had taken place were placed under curfews, fined and slapped with travel restrictions. "Active" resistance--the killing of a German soldier--would be met by reprisal killings of local civilians.

Dr. Best was trying to protect German troops. Rather than be cowed, however, leaders of European resistance groups saw Best's ruthless policy as their chance to radicalize moderates who were still on the fence about their German occupiers. The insurgents stepped up assassinations of German troops. The killings prompted the Germans to shoot more local businessmen and political leaders. The cycle of violence was spiraling out of control.

Eventually Hitler himself got into the act. Convinced that collective punishment was failing because it wasn't severe enough, the f├╝hrer issued a September 1941 order to use "the harshest measures" against civilians in areas where the Resistance was active. Arguing that "only the [collective] death penalty can be a real means of deterrence," Hitler ordered that 50 civilians be executed for each German soldier killed.

Some in the German high command argued that punishing innocent civilians in large numbers would alienate the local population and lose the battle for hearts and minds. Although they were eventually proven correct, they were overruled. New reprisals, each worse than the last, strengthened the resolve of the resistance and gained them new recruits. By the end of the war, reprisals had assumed grotesquely lopsided ratios of murdered locals to dead Germans. Entire villages--Lidice in the Czech Republic (340 killed), Oradour-sur-Glane in France (642), Kortelisy in Ukraine (2,892)--were wiped out.

Even right-wingers who'd supported the Nazis were appalled. Support for the Germans and their puppet regimes declined with each new campaign of "counterterrorism." Public opinion wasn't decisive; no nation occupied by the Nazis during World War II could solely credit its resistance for its liberation. Still, collective punishment was an unequivocal tactical failure. Resistance groups and their sympathizers hastened the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Neither the United States nor Israel is equivalent to Nazi Germany, yet both countries have adopted a Nazi-like obsession with collective punishment. Israeli Defense Forces, which subject centers of Palestinian resistance in the occupied West Bank to curfews and encirclement by barbed-wire fences, taught their techniques to U.S. occupation troops in Iraq. After Islamist suicide pilots killed 3,000 Americans in the September 11 attacks, the U.S. government justified the killing of 200,000 Afghans and Iraqis as an act of "self-defense."

George W. Bush exceeded Hitler's 50-to-1 ratio.

Now Israel is "reacting" to the capture of two of its soldiers by the Palestinian resistance organization Hezbollah by invading and bombing Lebanon. Death tolls that fall disproportionately heavily upon Palestinians have long been a hallmark of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During the 2000-03 intifada, for example, at least seven Palestinians were killed by Israelis for every Israeli killed by a Palestinian. Now, as of this writing, more than 500 Lebanese civilians have been killed by Israeli bombs. On the Israeli side, 15 civilians have died in Hezbollah rocket attacks and 14 soldiers have been killed in combat.

Current ratio: 30-to-1.

"Israel has a right to defend itself," Bush said at the start of the current Middle East crisis. No doubt. But the Israelis aren't defending themselves any more than the Bush Administrative is defending us. Each is using a crime--the kidnapping of two soldiers, the 9/11 terrorist attacks--as an excuse to wage war against innocent people who had nothing to do with it. Meanwhile, the criminals--the kidnappers and those behind 9/11--are allowed to get away scot-free.

In response to criticism that Israel was using "disproportionate" force against Lebanon, its ambassador to the United Nations told a cheering mob in New York: "You're damned right we are!" Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) chimed in: "Since when should a response to aggression and murder be proportionate?"

Congressman Nadler ought to catch up on his reading. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which has been signed and ratified by both Israel and the United States and was drafted in response to the kinds of Nazi atrocities described at the beginning of this column, specifically prohibits collective punishment. As a treaty obligation, it is U.S. law. It is Israeli law.

Nothing prevents a nation from defending itself or going after those who commit heinous crimes--which include kidnapping--against its citizens. Understanding the difference between self-defense and collective punishment is what separates Israel and the U.S.--on paper, anyway--from the Nazis.

Ted Rall is the editor of "Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists," a new anthology of webcartoons.


Anonymous said...

Why are you attacking Ron, Mr. Gillespie? What's your issue, really, other than the fact that you apparently just want to argue about everything. You know what, devote your life to being a reporter and editor, gathering news, and then maybe you'll be in a position to criticize. I find your tone and your criticism of Mr. Franscell rude and fatuous, not to mention self-serving. People like you just want to argue. You're clearly someone who's never happy, never impressed, never agrees with anyone but yourself. If you don't like what Franscell says, don't read it. That's easy. But just because you don't like what he says doesn't mean he's wrong.

That Cleaning Lady said...

I agree with anonymous on the end - you both should ignore eachother. Mr. Gillespie isn't impressed, but is taking full advantage of free space to go on and on and on about what Mr. Franscell says that HE doesn't agree with, isn't impressed with, and has a Biblical quote to prove his position. Maybe Mr. Gillespie needs his own blogsite where he can write his own diatribe, and we can visit there -- or not -- and comment -- or not.
Remember that old addage, Mr. Francell... ignore them, and they will go away.. eventually.
As for the hesbolla news, I went there, read some, agree its one sided-- don't most people lean on their own side of an issue? I was interested to read that most suicide bombers are not considered extremists, simply religiously or politically expressive. Hmmm... as many things that when I get expressive make the air around me blue... I would never feel the need to strap on a vest full of TNT and go prove my views on a bus-full of collateral damage.

RoadDog said...

Typical liberal bullshit*** Everybody who disagrees is dumb and racist. How funny that the "party of tolerance" tolerates everything except disagreement and anybody who isn't a liberal!!! Fuck them until they start having real ideas about how to fix problems.

Jerseyboy said...

The minute some mental defective starts comparing any American president to Hitler, I know the freaks and geeks have struck. So George Bush is 50 times worse than Hitler?? Israel is 30 times worse than Hitler?? Okay so George W. Bush has gassed or cooked 300 million people?? Israeli bombs in Lebanon have been the "final solution" for 180 million?? The liberals in this country will stop AT NOTHING, EVEN LIES to get what they want!!! Hezbollah's website is no less honest than most liberal blogs and websites in the USA!! Go back to your holes and suck the dicks of Osama and Nazralla and the Ayatollah.

Shady said...

if you are interseted in war against terrorism i invite you to visit this link

Anonymous said...

What can you say about:
"the party of God," is actually "the party of the devil," said Sheik Safar al-Hawali.

Anonymous said...

you are taking what you want to hear and ignorring what the other side said about hizbullah , hizbullah if you like it or not if you admit it or not are a national lebanese resistance against the occupation.

Anonymous said...

do not ever compare mister nasrallah to the terrorist leader bin laden, i am lebanese i had been there i did see from israel and thier crimes a lot when they inter beirut in 1982 and killed over 2000 in sabra and chatillah in just few hours ,Hizbullah did not excist at that time so don`t tell me that now all crimes are doing in lebanon are by mistake that is just a lie,

Talula said...

Can you tell me why I am not able to access Hezbollah's official website? I keep seeing the message that "alghaliboun could not be found." Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Al Manar TV's website is quite good - not the ranting terrorist propaganda we're led to believe.