Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Massacre that wasn't - Once again

In the tradition of Jenin, Iraq and Qana comes another highly inflamatory claim of a massacre by none other than the Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora. Yesterday he shouted to the world that the Israeli's had massacred 40 civillians in the city of Houla. Once again the world media jumped at the chance to scream massacre without waiting for the facts or even the most rudimentary confirmation.

"An hour ago, a horrific massacre took place in Houla village as a result of the intentional Israeli bombardment that resulted in more than 40 martyrs," Siniora told an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut.

This was carried by reuters, the Washington Post, the Daily Telegraph, CNN, BBC etc

When it was blatently clear that there was only a single person killed, he retracted his statement to say:
“The massacre in Houla, it turned out that there was one person killed,” Mr Siniora said.
“They thought that the whole building smashed on the heads of about 40 people … thank God they have been saved.”

Of course there is no detail of how they were "saved" nor is anyone asking where are the "saved" people and how were they "saved." Where are the reporters on the ground, the ambulances etc? In the lack of the evidence of them being saved we can only assume they were never there to start with.

Nevertheless Sionara has achieved his goal and the damage is done. People remember the claim not the footnote retraction that half the media don't even bother to print.

If the supposedly moderate democratic PM of Lebanon who just wants peace can make such an outrageous claim without any evidence, how can any numbers of casualties being touted in Lebanon be believed?

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