V is for Victory

August 14th, 2006 2:22 PM
The caption for the left picture reads:
An Israeli soldier flashes a V for victory sign after receiving orders to stop firing into south Lebanon, along the Israel-Lebanon border, in the early hours. Faced with another Middle East crisis, American Jews have rallied to collect donations for Israel, although some in the community argue that funds should also be sent to war-ravaged Lebanon for aid its reconstruction.(AFP/David Furst)
And on the right, we're treated to:
Lebanese children sit atop a pick up truck as they flash V-signs and wave Hezbollah flags as hundreds of cars with displaced Lebanese returning to southern Lebanon, wait in line to pass the destroyed bridge of Zahrani that was attacked by Israeli warplanes during the month-long operations, south of the port city of Sidon, Monday, Aug. 14, 2006. Thousands of cars flooded Lebanon's bombed out highways heading south within an hour of a U.N. cease-fire taking hold, and Lebanese army troops scrambled to repair roads in time for the deluge of refugees returning home. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
Ok. So there's nothing unusual about having a war in which both sides claim victory, and in a conflict that's as long-running as this one, I don't think we can expect anything different. But notice the differences in these photos: The Israelis are portrayed as dark, ominous invaders claiming victory, presumably against a civilian populace. Furthermore, our leftist photographer has taken the effort to declare that some in the Jewish community would rather see aid go to Lebanon than to Israel.
Caption: Lebanese refugees wait at the border to cross from Syria.(AP Photo Bassem Tellawi) Left out of the caption? Syria, a "state sponsor of terrorism."
On the other hand, we see the cheerful Lebanese holding up the same sign, but for some reason, the photographer chose not to identify it explicitly as an indication of the Lebanese claiming victory. And, of course, while the photographer notes that these civilians are waving Hezbullah flags, he doesn't find it worth mentioning that this is the flag of a terrorist group (PDF). Once again, I ask:—How does the press expect Israel to fairly fight a terrorist group that wears no uniform, and blends into the civilian population this closely; much less, without injuring and killing the civilians that Hezbullah is hiding amongst? If Israel is condemned for the deaths of "innocent civilians," why is there no condemnation aimed at Hezbullah when their "rockets" kill Israeli civilians? Most importantly—will the press change its story once Hezbullah has once again reneged on this cease-fire? I'll be keeping an eye on them to see. (And, in case you're still wondering why Hezbullah is claiming this as a victory, I highly recommend you read up on the Islamic practice of "Hudna"—or, negotiating cease-fires to have time to rebuild your army and attack again. The West will never defeat terrorism until it starts understanding it.)