Monday, August 07, 2006

Who Said This?

Who Said This?

" cannot negotiate when someone can't hear you or refuses to hear you or can't even understand your language, and that's clearly what's happening in a lot of places in the world right now, the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, not the least of which there's very little listening and understanding going on. Our language is entirely different than theirs, and I don't just mean the words. Who thinks that Hezbollah is a bad word? Show of hands. Usually connotes fear, terror, some kind of suicide bombing. If you live in the Arab world, Hezbollah means Shriner. Hezbollah means charity, Hezbollah means hospitals, Hezbollah means welfare and jobs.

These are not the same organizations we're dealing with. How can you negotiate when you' re talking about two entirely different meanings? And until we understand - we don't have to like Hizbullah, we don't have to like their militancy, we don't have to like what they do on the side, but we have to understand that they like it, that they like the good things about Hizbullah, and that you can't just paint it with a blanket statement that it's a terrorist organization, because even when it comes to the militancy these people believe that militancy is simply freedom fighting and resistance. You can't argue with that. You can try to negotiate, but you can't say it's wrong flat out...."

To learn the answer, you can google the sentence
"If you live in the Arab world, Hezbollah means Shriner."

Reuters Photographer Cheats While More Die

Reuters Photographer Cheats
While More Die

Jeff Jarvis is crowing about another "Dan Rather moment" for the blogosphere. If Charles Johnson figured out that the smoke in the photo was placed by photoshop, then he (and others in the blogosphere) deserve credit. No professional mainstream photographer should get away with propagandizing. Is the photographer guilty of the charge? As in the case of Dan Rather, we may never get all the specifics after the storm has passed. There is an investigation going on and photographer Adnan Hajj's 900+ photos have been pulled from Reuters.

I hope we all realize that innocent life is still being lost in Southern Lebanon and northern Israel. One in four Lebanese have been displaced. Smoke or no smoke.

In the end, the cessation of senseless deaths on both sides is what really matters. Catching dirty journalism is a good thing - but if Adnan Hajj is used as a future example of unfair suspicion of the typical mainstream photographer in the region, then the lessons learned would have become no more than a tool for bloggers' propaganda to blindly defend Israel's actions.

As moral and ethical people, we need to understand that we only support President Bush when we stop expecting him to side with Israel on everything they do. He's going to have to make some pretty difficult decisions and compromises with the international community in days to come if he wants to bring any sense of peace and an end to violence in the region.

Update 5 pm - National Journal's Blogometer covers excerpts from a few prominent blogs.

Taylor Marsh raises some interesting points at the Huffington Post