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Who is killing Lebanese civilians? (Part 2)

Historical and Investigative Research - 1 August 2006
by Francisco Gil-White
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1  |  2

We are hearing -- everywhere -- condemnation of Israel for the deaths of Lebanese civilians in the current conflict. For example, the British daily the Independent rages against “Israel’s savagery against the civilian population.”[2] The Jews are monsters, says the Independent. This position is very common.

And yet, it is the Hezbollah terrorists who wish to destroy the Israeli civilian population, the Hezbollah terrorists who attacked, and the Hezbollah terrorists who hide among Lebanese civilians while firing at Israeli civilians, thus drawing Israeli fire against ordinary Lebanese. It is Hezbollah that hates and murders civilians, whether these be Israeli or Lebanese.

Consider the analysis provided by the Canadian Major-General Lewis Mackenzie (ret.). According to the Ottawa Citizen,

[Quote from Ottawa Citizen begins here]

“Just last week, Maj. Hess-von Kruedener [a Canadian member of UNIFIL, the UN troops in southern Lebanon] wrote an e-mail about his experiences after nine months in the area, words Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie said are an obvious allusion to Hezbollah tactics.

‘What I can tell you is this,’ he wrote in an e-mail to CTV dated July 18. ‘We have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both (Israeli) artillery and aerial bombing.

‘The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters (sic) of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters (sic) from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to tactical necessity.’ [HIR emphasis]

Those words, particularly the last sentence, are not-so-veiled language indicating Israeli strikes were aimed at Hezbollah targets near the post, said Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie.

‘What that means is, in plain English, 'We’ve got Hezbollah fighters running around in our [United Nations] positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defence Forces),'’ he said.

That would mean Hezbollah was purposely setting up near the UN post, he added. It’s a tactic Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie, who was the first UN commander in Sarajevo during the Bosnia civil war [Bosnia was an administrative unit of the former Yugoslavia, and Sarajevo was its capital], said he’s seen in past international missions: Aside from UN posts, fighters would set up near hospitals, mosques and orphanages.”

[Quote from Ottawa Citizen ends here]

Does MacKenzie know what he is talking about? I think he does. MacKenzie was “the first UN commander in Sarajevo,” as Bosnia was being torn apart by three-way civil wars between Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs in the 1990s. When MacKenzie says that fighters would set up near UN posts, hospitals, mosques and orphanages, he is describing the tactics used by the Bosnian Muslim faction led by Alija Izetbegovic, which controlled Sarajevo. This is relevant because, like Hezbollah, Alija Izetbegovic was an Islamist terrorist backed by Iran, so MacKenzie is familiar with the tactics of Iranian-backed Muslim movements.

Aija Izetbegovic was also supported by NATO. Western officials, together with the Western media, represented Izetbegovic to the world as a supposed multicultural democrat fighting for tolerance and human rights, defending a plural society against the supposedly racist and genocidal Serbs. In reality, as Izetbegovic publicly explained in perfectly plain language in his own book Islamic Declaration (or Islamic Manifesto), his objective was to exterminate non-Muslims in Bosnia and turn it into a totalitarian terrorist-Islamist state modeled after Iran.[3] Izetbegovic murdered Muslim civilians, too, if they happened not to agree with him, and there were many of these because Izetbegovic in fact had minority support among them.[4] The media representation of Izetbegovic as the leader of supposed victims was assisted by the tactics that MacKenzie describes, which attracted enemy fire to Muslim civilians, whose deaths were then immorally blamed on the Serbs -- the same Serbs who had not started the fight and who were defending themselves from a genocidal attack.[5] As MacKenzie has correctly stated, the enemies of the Serbs had the entire Western public relations machinery working for them, and the Serbs did not.[6]

As “the first UN commander in Sarajevo,” MacKenzie got to see what Alija Izetbegovic and his followers were like up close and personal, and he explained to the world that the media representation of the Serbs as the supposed bad guys was propagandistic (HIR has several demonstrations showing that the accusations against the Serbs were fraudulent[7]). Not-coincidentally, “Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie is regarded as having been more sympathetic to Serbs than his successors.”[8]

MacKenzie was a huge embarrassment to NATO’s demonization of the Serbs. In 1993 the Toronto Star reported that “Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie...has been warned by his military superiors to keep his political views to himself,”[9] and later MacKenzie was accused of joining with the Serbs in the supposed rapes of Bosnian Muslim women, for which no evidence was ever provided (either in MacKenzie’s case or that of the Serbs).[10] Mackenzie was removed and replaced with his more ‘appropriately’ Serbophobic successors. This does not mean that MacKenzie was entirely unaffected by the NATO and media propaganda, but he was certainly skeptical, and he spoke his mind about what he saw in Bosnia, and then also about the NATO failure to prove its case in Kosovo (HIR has since shown that NATO was unable to produce even one body of an Albanian civilian murdered by the Serbs in Kosovo[11]).

With this context in the background, it is obvious that if anybody can recognize the tactics of a genocidal, Iranian-backed Muslim movement it is Lewis MacKenzie, so when he says that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah -- which army calls for the destruction of Israel via the extermination of the Jews -- is firing from UN posts and civilian locations in order to attract Israeli fire there, and thus to produce fodder for the media demonization of the Israelis, I take it seriously. It supports the view expressed in this series that one cannot blame the Israelis for UN and Lebanese civilian casualties when the Israelis are defending themselves from a genocidal enemy that attacked first, and when they are dropping leaflets to warn civilians of impending bombings.[12]

The reports from Israeli soldiers support MacKenzie’s analysis. According to the Associated Press:

“Israeli soldiers returning from the front in Lebanon describe Hezbollah guerrillas hiding amid civilians…

[Michael] Sidorenko [an Israeli soldier] said he saw Hezbollah fighters firing from behind Lebanese civilians.

‘That’s why our soldiers are getting killed,’ he said.”[13]

What Sidorenko is saying is that the ethics of the Israeli military make it difficult for the Israelis to fight effectively the Hezbollah because they do not wish to injure the Lebanese civilians. It is precisely because the Hezbollah is aware of the superior ethics of its Israeli enemy that it hides behind those civilians.

There have been many reports of the Hezbollah supposedly being very good fighters. And the Associated Press repeats this. However, it also says this:

“Not every soldier described Hezbollah as fierce. One said that when Israeli troops show up in vehicles, the guerrillas ‘run like chickens.’

Others wondered why Hezbollah had not yet attacked the nearly two dozen army vehicles and hundreds of troops camped out in easy striking range below the hill on which Maroun al-Ras sits.

Most believed the guerrillas would rather aim their rockets at major Israeli population centers such as Haifa...

The soldiers said Hezbollah has refrained from attacking them as they approached Maroun al-Ras in tanks and armored personnel carriers, preferring instead to let Israelis reach the village [where the Hezbollah can hide behind the Lebanese civilians] and attack them there.”

And these reports from the Israeli soldiers agree with what some brave Lebanese civilians said, according to the New York Times:

“Mr. [Nahab] Aman said Hezbollah fighters in groups of two and three had come into Ain Ebel, less than a mile from Bint Jbail, where most of the fighting has occurred. They were using it as a base to shoot rockets, he said, and the Israelis fired back.

One woman, who would not give her name because she had a government job and feared retribution, said Hezbollah fighters had killed a man who was trying to leave Bint Jbail.

‘This is what’s happening, but no one wants to say it’ for fear of Hezbollah, she said.”[14]

If Hezbollah is killing Lebanese civilians who leave the civilian areas from which Hezbollah fires at Israeli civilians and soldiers, then it is an outrage that anybody should blame the Israelis for the deaths of these civilians. This outrage is being committed across the board, which justifies the title of Charles Krauthammer’s piece of yesterday, ‘World Has Lost Moral Bearings on Israeli Crisis,’ where he says,

“Lebanese innocents must…die in order for Israel to be demonized, which is why Hizbullah hides its fighters, its rockets, its launchers, its entire infrastructure among civilians. Creating human shields is a war crime. It is also a Hizbullah speciality.”[15]

Is a picture worth a thousand words? Consider this one:

Description: C:\Users\Francisco\Desktop\Transfer\web\hir\israel\cowards.jpg

( click picture to enlarge; for more pictures, see footnote [15a] )

About this and other such pictures, Chris Tinkler writes as follows in the Sunday Mail (Australia):

[Quote from the Sunday Mail begins here]

THIS is a picture that damns Hezbollah

It is one of several graphic images smuggled out from behind Lebanon's battle lines showing how Hezbollah is waging war amid suburban homes.

Obtained exclusively by News Ltd, they depict how the extremists are using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy calibre weapons.

Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly melt back into suburbia, the fighters, carrying automatic assault rifles, ride in trucks laden with cannons.

The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were snapped by a visiting journalist caught in the midst of the war, then smuggled out by a friend...

Images and footage of Hezbollah activities taken by local newspapers and TV crews are routinely seized by the group's fighters at road blocks. But in our image, taken clandestinely, a group of fighters are preparing to fire a truck-mounted anti-aircraft gun just metres from an apartment block with sheets drying on the balcony.

Others show a Hezbollah fighter armed with a nickel-plated AK47 rifle guarding no-go zones after Israeli blitzes. Another depicts the remnants of a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket in the middle of a residential block, blown up in an Israeli air attack.

The Melbourne man who smuggled the shots out of Beirut told yesterday how he was less than 400m from the block when it was obliterated.

''Hezbollah came in to launch their rockets, then within minutes the area was blasted by Israeli jets,'' he said. ''Until the Hezbollah fighters arrived, it had not been touched by the Israelis. Then it was devastated.

''After the attacks they didn't even allow the ambulances or the Lebanese Army to come in until they had cleaned the area, removing their rockets and hiding other evidence. Two innocent people died in that incident but it was so lucky it was not more. The people there were horrified and disgusted at what Hezbollah were doing.''

The fighters used trucks, driven into residential areas, as launch pads for the rockets, he said.

Another image shows a line of decimated trucks, said to have been carrying rockets, sitting behind a 5m crater. The release of the images comes as Hezbollah fighters face increasing censure for using innocent civilians as ''human shields''. UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland blasted Hezbollah as ''cowards'' for operating among Lebanese civilians.

Mr Egeland said when he was in the Hezbollah heartland, he had said: ''I said Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending in among women and children.

''I heard them saying they were proud of losing fewer armed men than civilians. It's hard to see how they could be proud of such a situation.''[16]

[Quote from the Sunday Mail (Australia) ends here]

Did you notice? These pictures forced Jan Egeland to condemn Hezbollah in no uncertain terms. Before this, Jan Egeland had been implying or stating outright that Israel should be held responsible for the costs to Lebanese civilians.[17] These are powerful pictures. It was just “A day after criticizing Israel for 'disproportionate' strikes against civilians [that] Mr. Egeland accused Hezbollah of 'cowardly blending' among women and children.”[18]

It is obvious, then, that Hezbollah is the one killing the Lebanese civilians. Some of them directly, when they refuse to act as human shields for the Hezbollah cowards, and some of them indirectly, when the Hezbollah cowards force them to stand in front of the Israeli counterattack. So much for the fierce ‘pride’ of the Islamists (and small wonder that they need the ‘international community’ to come and save them).


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Perhaps Hezbollah will lose the war of perceptions, after all, now that they have been caught red-handed attacking innocent Lebanese. Or perhaps not, because Hezbollah certainly appears to have the Western mass media in its pocket. To understand why, read:

"Did the National Security Act of 1947 destroy freedom of the press?"; Historical and Investigative Research; 3 Jan 2006; by Francisco Gil-White


 Take me to the

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in this series.


     Israel at War -- An HIR Series  

Who attacked Israel?

What is Hezbollah?

What caused this war?

Understanding the US position | 1

Understanding the US position | 2

The Arab reaction, and what it means

Who is killing Lebanese civilians? | 1

Who is killing Lebanese civilians? | 2

What is wrong with the media? | 1

What is wrong with the media? | 2


Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] WARFARE IN THE MIDDLE EAST; Israel to Halt Bombing for 48 Hours; South Lebanon Civilians to Be Evacuated After Airstrike Kills Up to 56,  Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2006 Monday,  Home Edition, MAIN NEWS; Foreign Desk; Part A; Pg. 1, 1991 words, Paul Richter and Laura King, Times Staff Writers,  JERUSALEM

[2] 'What in God's name have we done to deserve this?',  The Independent (London), July 31, 2006 Monday, NEWS; Pg. 2, 1360 words, ROBERT FISK in Tyre

[3] Who was Alija Izetbegovic: Moderate Democrat or Radical Islamist?; from “WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN BOSNIA?: Were the Serbs the criminal aggressors, as the official story claims, or were they the victims?”; Historical and Investigative Research; 19 August 2005; by Francisco Gil-White.

[4] “Painting fascists as victims, and their victims as fascists: The mainstream media turned Bosnia upside down”; from WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN BOSNIA?; Historical and Investigative Research; 19 August 2005; by Francisco Gil-White.

[5] “Who started the war in Bosnia? And who committed genocide? Was it the Bosnian Serbs, as NATO and the mass media alleged, or the Bosnian Muslim followers of Alija Izetbegovic?”; from WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN BOSNIA?; Historical and Investigative Research; 19 August 2005; by Francisco Gil-White.

[6] “’Believe you me,’ [MacKenzie] insists, ‘the Bosnians and Croats were smart enough to hire Washington PR firms, but the Serbs never caught on.’”

SOURCE: Serbian PR must be doing something right, The Ottawa Citizen, April 06, 1999, FINAL, 348 words, Alireza Rahbar-Shamskar

In fact, the problem was not so much that the Serbs never caught on, but that the Western PR firms would not take them, because they were collaborating with the NATO ruling elite and its controlled Western media to attack the Serbs. To read about that, visit:

“Who started the war in Bosnia? And who committed genocide? Was it the Bosnian Serbs, as NATO and the mass media alleged, or the Bosnian Muslim followers of Alija Izetbegovic?”; from WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN BOSNIA?; Historical and Investigative Research; 19 August 2005; by Francisco Gil-White.

[7]  HIR articles on the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia.

[8] Behind enemy Lines: A CTV reporter separates fact from fiction in war- torn Serbian capital, The Ottawa Citizen, July 04, 1999, FINAL, 4007 words, Roger Smith

[9] Outspoken general told to keep a lid on political views, The Toronto Star, February 4, 1993, Thursday, ONT, NEWS; Pg. A2, 376 words, By Tim Harper TORONTO STAR, OTTAWA

[10] MacKenzie wrote this in 1999, years after the rape accusations in Bosnia were first made:

“Evidence of the so-called '’rape camps' has yet to be provided as promised. And as someone who was accused by one of the parties to the Bosnian conflict of rape and murder in Sarajevo in 1992, I’m particularly sensitive to the rhetoric surrounding the ‘rape card.’ I’d like to see some proof before I accept it as justification for expanding the war.”

SOURCE: We might be in for a bloody 21st century, The Ottawa Citizen, April 22, 1999, FINAL, 721 words, Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie

[11] “THE FREEZER TRUCK HOAX: How NATO framed the Serbs”; Historical and Investigative Research; 2 December 2005; by Francisco Gil-White.

[12] WHO IS KILLING LEBANESE CIVILIANS?; Opinion; Historical and Investigative Research; 26 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White.

[13] Israeli soldiers say Hezbollah giving them more of a fight than they expected,  Associated Press Worldstream, July 24, 2006 Monday,  12:04 AM GMT, INTERNATIONAL NEWS, 803 words, By BENJAMIN HARVEY, Associated Press Writer, ON THE ISRAEL-LEBANON BORDER

[14] Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hezbollah ,  The New York Times, July 28, 2006 Friday,  Late Edition - Final, Section A; Column 4; Foreign Desk; HOSTILITIES IN THE MIDEAST: REFUGEES; Pg. 16, 712 words, By SABRINA TAVERNISE, TYRE, Lebanon, July 27

[15] World has lost moral bearings in Israel crisis,  The Irish Times, July 31, 2006 Monday, WORLD; Other World Stories; Pg. 9, 745 words, Charles Krauthammer

[15a] Hezbollah fires from residential areas, attracting Israeli fire against Lebanese civilians.

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Notice that the Hezbollah 'soldiers' dress in civilian clothing, which means that many of the supposed civilian casualties that are being blamed on Israel are probably Hezbollah soldiers.

[16] REVEALED How Hezbollah puts the innocent at risk; They don't care, Sunday Mail (South Australia), July 30, 2006 Sunday, Final Edition, NEWS; Pg. 4, 599 words, Chris Tinkler

[17] "As an Israeli ground assault into southern Lebanon appeared imminent Friday, U.N. emergency aid chief Jan Egeland told the Security Council that Israel's destruction of Lebanese roads and bridges had worsened an already grave humanitarian crisis."


"JAN EGELAND, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said the war, terror and attacks on civilians had to stop - in Lebanon, northern Israel and Gaza. Too many children, women and other civilians had already lost their lives."


[18] International Force Is Favored, But No Nation Commits Troops , The New York Times, July 25, 2006 Tuesday, Late Edition - Final, Section A; Column 2; Foreign Desk; TURMOIL IN THE MIDEAST: THE CONFLICT; Pg. 1, 1800 words, By CRAIG S. SMITH and GREG MYRE; Craig S. Smith reported from Avivim for this article, and Greg Myre from Jerusalem. Sabrina Tavernise contributed reporting from Beirut, and Hassan M. Fattah from Tyre, Lebanon., AVIVIM, Israel, July 24

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Hezbollah recruits doing the Nazi salute as they are sworn in (click to enlarge).

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an HIR series

Who attacked Israel?

  What is Hezbollah?

  What caused this war?

 Understanding the US position | 1

  Understanding the US position | 2

The Arab reaction, and what it means

  Who is killing Lebanese civilians? | 1

  Who is killing Lebanese civilians? | 2

  What is wrong with the media? | 1

 What is wrong with the media? | 2




























“‘One must understand the Hezbollah is using their own civilian population as human shields,’ Israeli Foreign Ministry official Gideon Meir said.

‘The Israel Defense Forces dropped leaflets and warned the civilian population to leave the place because the Hezbollah turned it into a war zone.’”[1]












































































“I said Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending in among women and children.

I heard them saying they were proud of losing fewer armed men than civilians. It's hard to see how they could be proud of such a situation.”

--  Jan Egeland, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs




















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