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The face of war obscured....

Reader comment on item: War's New Face

Submitted by Shep Fargotstein (United States), Apr 17, 2003 at 14:04

The admission by the chief correspondent for CNN in Baghdad that their staff was physically intimidated by Saddam's thugs in order to suppress information regarding murder, torture – and the intimidation itself, may be a revelation to the general American public, but it's not news to those of us who follow the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and certainly not a revelation to US news organizations that are now treating it as such.

In the Palestinian territories, the AP, Reuters, BBC, CNN, and others, are complicit in the same type of censoring that affects the perceptions of those of us who depend on them to give us the facts regarding this conflict. A reporter in the PA territories has little chance of reporting anything if it isn't sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Sometimes, gentle twisting of the facts is all that is required.

Case in point: A recent AP article entitled "Human Shields face risks, hand Israel a PR Mess". Reporter Paisley Dobbs reports that in the last 30 months, Palestinians have killed 750 Israelis, and that Israelis have killed 2,200 Palestinians - leading a casual reader to assume that the Israelis are the aggressor. The statistics she quoted are correct, but anyone who has taken statistics 101 knows that the devil is in the details.

A detailed analysis of the victims on both sides reveals that not only were the vast majority of the 750 Israelis killed by the Palestinians civilians (grandmothers, students, etc.) killed in homicide bombings, but the bombings were purposely located in crowed pedestrian locations (buses, pizza joints, malls) handpicked to inflict the maximum death count.

On the other hand, of the 2,200 Palestinians killed, 75 were Palestinian homicide bombers, and the vast majority of balance was armed Palestinian combatants killed while trying to infiltrate, or in actual battle. There is no doubt that Palestinian civilians have been caught in the crossfire and killed by Israeli forces. The distinction must be made that there is no evidence that Israelis intentionally targeted them, as is the case with the Palestinians. Just as in Somalia (Blackhawk Down) and in Iraq, the intentional use of civilians as human shields during combat by Palestine terrorists has puts their civilian population in harms way with predictable results that they use for propaganda. That is why Israel has a PA contrived PR mess. The press perpetuates it.
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