In which our intrepid hero questions the spin on the war between Lebanon and Israel.

I flicked the televison on when I got home last night, settling in to watch The 7.30 Report before coasting towards the evening’s Four Corners exposé of the NSW Liberal Party’s internal factional warfare.

One of the major stories on The 7.30 Report featured an interview with Mark Regev, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman. For some reason, his side of the story seemed a bit incongruous:

[Hizbollah] is a very, very state-of-the-art military organisation. Over the last decade, they’ve received some very serious military hardware from Iran, from Syria. As you saw, they took out one of our military vessels, one of our Navy boats with a very, very updated modern surface-to-sea missile, which very few countries have, even conventional armies. […] I mean, we are really are dealing with quite a formidable force.

The “very, very updated modern surface-to-sea missile” in question is the Yingji-82 (AKA CSS-N-8 or C-802), a weapon which, whilst quite effective, has also been on the market for over 15 years. And the INS Hanit, the ship targetted by Hizbollah, has formidable anti-missile defence—which the Israelis had deliberately disabled at the time.

That aside, if this is a war between Israel and Hizbollah, then surely, we’d see lots of footage of Hizbollah military hardware being blown up, and Hizbollah generally getting their butts kicked all the way back to Damascus or Tehran, yes? Why is it that all the images seem to be of Lebanese civilian targets?

I don’t think that there’s suddenly some anti-Semitic conspiracy in the media, striving daily to make Israel look bad, somehow; they do that very well by themselves, these days.

Let me get this straight: a bunch of ragtag terrorists, holed up in the hills of Lebanon, sophisticated enough only to lob the occasional rocket from a WWII-era launch platform, is now a “state-of-the-art military organisation… quite a formidable force”?

I’m not sure it’s entirely appropriate, but the whole thing reminds me of another event in world history: