World News without a clue.

Without a clue, that is, offered as to the story underlying the reconstruction of S. Lebanon.

Like many internet oriented folk I expect, I’ve come across numerous stories of how Hizbullah is patching up its fiefdom- that is, South Lebanon. Take a look at this one. Not to your taste? How about this.

As The Guardian reports,

“As refugees flood back to their war-ravaged villages, Hizbullah has flung itself to the front of the burgeoning reconstruction effort in southern Lebanon, funded with a deluge of petro-dollars from neighbouring Iran.”

All of which makes the BBC’s latest, and prolonged, frontpage offensive look like nothing short of misleading advertising pleading for international donors. They seem to be saying something like “come and get your free headline billing here- just give your hard-taxed dollars/yen/pounds/Euros to Hizbollah/Iran Lebanon and your slot is guaranteed”.

I link two articles from the BBC above. In neither is Iran given even a mention (I have saved a copy of each should the stealth edit arise). In one of them Syria appears just once, a vanishingly brief mention in connection with Kofi paying them a visit to discuss their support for Hizbullah*.

This is not journalism. It is anti-journalism. It suppresses the reality that Hizbullah has its own plans for reconstruction largely separate from any that the Lebanese government, in as far as it may act without Hizbullah’s consent, may have. The ‘international community’ will just provide the icing, the morale booster.

Of course this is vital information for the public to make sense of Israel’s problems with Lebanon, and any of its actions subsequent to the ceasefire.

(*By the way, I notice that the BBC talks of “Lebanon-based Hezbollah guerrillas.” What on earth does this mean, really? Hizbullah is a political party in Lebanon, with many seats in Parliament owing to electoral success in the South of the country.)

ps.- an instructive comparison:

“The Lebanese government has previously put the cost of damage at $3.6bn. It says 15,000 homes were damaged in the conflict and has appealed for $75m for temporary housing and $30m to repair major roads and put up bridges.” (the BBC)

“The housing scheme will benefit 15,000 families, Mr Nasrallah said, and will cost up to $150m, according to one estimate. Funding will come from oil-rich Iran, which until now has mostly supplied Hizbullah with thousands of missiles used against Israel.” (The Guardian)

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