Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hezbollywood Makes Pallywood Look Like B-Movie Producers

Pallywood is nothing like Hezbollywood.
The Palestinians orchestrate shootings...funerals.
Hezbollah orchestrated a war.
Public diplomacy for any country, not just Israel, has gone global. While the conflict may be determined in local terms, such as Israel's fight against Hizballah, the ramifications of the action itself are global in nature. Therefore, public diplomacy must be geared toward the global scene.

Ever since 9/11, we have been in a different type of war. We were exposed for the first time to a global network of terrorist organizations, sort of a multi-national corporation of non-state actors.
On the Lebanese scene, through the careful manipulation of evidence, the theater of war has turned into a crime scene. Every action that Israel takes in Lebanon - with its densely populated villages that Israel must operate in because that's the only way that we can uproot the terrorists in them - creates an opportunity for the other side to use public diplomacy with global ramifications. Thus, instead of the war being about Israel's right of self-defense, Hizballah was able to turn it around so that the issue on the international agenda became Israel's destruction of Lebanon and Israel as the cause of world instability. The victim becomes the criminal.

For example, Nasrallah ordered his men to remove their uniforms and blend in and continue to fight from within the civilian population. In this way, when Israel attacks Hizballah, the scene is one of Israel moving against what appears to be civilians, even though rockets fired from these villages are striking Israel. Attacks on what looks like civilian targets can then be called "crimes against humanity" and "war crimes." In addition, by blending in with civilians, it's easier to fight the Israelis who exercise self-restraint when fighting near civilians.

Another way to change a theater of war into a crime scene is by building Hizballah positions in close proximity to those of UNIFIL. Then there is always an opportunity for a potential mishap where Israel will hit the UNIFIL position by mistake. Or Hizballah may provoke an Israeli attack by firing from a specific location and ensuring that a human shield of innocent civilians will be present at the site.

These are just some examples of how Hizballah uses public diplomacy and the media as a tool of war. They create changes on the ground so that later they can manipulate the situation, and once the crime scene is created, the media look for the villain and his smoking gun.
The Hezbollah production was quite an achievement.

And it might be part of the reason that Palestinian terrorists have raised the bar by kidnapping Steve Centanni and Olag Wiig, the two Fox News journalists.

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