NY Times: Hezbollah 'Functions as a Civil Aid Group as Well as a Militia'

July 25th, 2006 2:18 PM

New York Times reporter Sabrina Tavernise, in Beirut while parts of the city are being bombarded by Israeli air strikes, files "Beirutis Try to Plumb the Abyss Between Elegance and Chaos."

She describes the divide between the Shiites in the vulnerable South and the more cosmopolitan Lebanese of the North and uses the term "folk hero" in a description of the leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah:

"For the south, which suffered for more than a decade under Israeli occupation, Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, is a folk hero who helped drive out the Israelis. But many middle-class Lebanese who have worked for the past decade to generate an economic revival are tired of war and resent Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12."

The Times again portrays the anti-Israel terrorist group Hezbollah as a charitable group, like the Elks with rocket launchers:

"The situation is made all the more complicated by the nature of Hezbollah. It functions as a civil aid group as well as a militia, helping with schools and in hospitals, and in many cases providing essential public services at times in the years of the war when the government was simply not able. It has a savvy media operation, with a spokesman who takes groups of journalists on tours of the devastation in southern Beirut with a truck that blares Hezbollah fighting songs from rows of speakers."

"Savvy media operation"? Wouldn’t "propaganda campaign" be a more accurate term?

For more liberal bias from the New York Times, visit TimesWatch.