Qana: What happened?

What happened at Qana? The incurious folks among the mainstream media seem to have moved on. As Clifford May writes this morning:

Give credit where it is due: Hezbollah propagandists understand how to manipulate the Western media. They show reporters bombed buildings and dead bodies. They say: “These were innocent civilians. No fighters or weapons here.” The news crews report what they are told and shown without verification — out of ignorance or fear or both. Hezbollah exaggerates its battlefield successes and understates its losses and, with too few exceptions, the media take it in and spew it back out.

One of the most interesting reports I have seen over the past few days is at “Israel insider,” where the regular line of work pursued by the rescue worker in the green helmet is tentatively identified as that of traveling mortician: “Hezbollywood horror: ‘Civil defense worker’ doubles as traveling mortician.” Charles Johnson posts a video interview with him here. More useful links to recent discussions of Qana are rounded up here at Little Green Footballs and here at The American Thinker. Adding to the confusion is the Israeli report that the bombing of the building was a mistake, which leaves critical questions unanswered.

In this context Victor Davis Hanson’s weekly NRO column seems particularly timely: “The brink of madness.” Hanson writes:

These past few days the inability of millions of Westerners, both here and in Europe, to condemn fascist terrorists who start wars, spread racial hatred, and despise Western democracies is the real story, not the “quarter-ton” Israeli bombs that inadvertently hit civilians in Lebanon who live among rocket launchers that send missiles into Israeli cities and suburbs.

Yes, perhaps Israel should have hit more quickly, harder, and on the ground; yes, it has run an inept public relations campaign; yes, to these criticisms and more. But what is lost sight of is the central moral issue of our times: a humane democracy mired in an asymmetrical war is trying to protect itself against terrorists from the 7th century, while under the scrutiny of a corrupt world that needs oil, is largely anti-Semitic and deathly afraid of Islamic terrorists, and finds psychic enjoyment in seeing successful Western societies under duress.

In short, if we wish to learn what was going on in Europe in 1938, just look around.

Thanks to reader Michael Yore for alerting us to another great VDH column.

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