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04. Aug 2006

Hizbollah 'dækker sig bag civile' - eller hvad?

Vi hører gang på gang, at Hizbollah i virkeligheden er ansvarlige for de civile tab i Libanon, fordi de opererer fra beboede områder.

Human Rights Watch mener så noget andet, som vi også var inde på i går.

Og måske det har sin forklaring - for i en længere reportage i Salon forklarer journalisten og fotografen Mitch Prothero, at Hizbollahs kæmpere tværtimod til alle tider holder sig langt væk fra civile - bl.a., fordi de ikke stoler på dem:
Although Israel targets apartments and offices because they are considered "Hezbollah" installations, the group has a clear policy of keeping its fighters away from civilians as much as possible.

"You can be a member of Hezbollah your entire life and never see a military wing fighter with a weapon," a Lebanese military intelligence official, now retired, once told me. "They do not come out with their masks off and never operate around people if they can avoid it. They're completely afraid of collaborators. They know this is what breaks the Palestinians -- no discipline and too much showing off."

Perhaps once a year, Hezbollah will hold a military parade in the south, in which its weapons and fighters appear. Media access to these parades is tightly limited and controlled. Unlike the fighters in the half dozen other countries where I have covered insurgencies, Hezbollah fighters do not like to show off for the cameras. In Iraq, with some risk taking, you can meet with and even watch the resistance guys in action. (At least you could during my last time there.) In Afghanistan, you can lunch with Taliban fighters if you're willing to walk a day or so in the mountains. In Gaza and the West Bank, the Fatah or Hamas fighter is almost ubiquitous with his mask, gun and sloganeering to convince the Western journalist of the justice of his cause.

The Hezbollah guys, on the other hand, know that letting their fighters near outsiders of any kind -- journalists or Lebanese, even Hezbollah supporters -- is stupid. In three trips over the last week to the south, where I came near enough to the fighting to hear Israeli artillery, and not just airstrikes, I saw exactly no fighters. Guys with radios with the look of Hezbollah always found me. But no fighters on corners, no invitations to watch them shoot rockets at the Zionist enemy, nothing that can be used to track them.
Så - Hizbollah er altså skyld i de civile tab, fordi de opererer fra beboede områder og blander sig med civile - bortset fra, at det gør de faktisk ikke, når det kommer til stykket.

Ak ja - hvem kan man efterhånden stole på længere?

Link til Mitch Protheros artikel i Salon, The "hiding among civilians" myth - kan også læses her.

Update, 5. august kl. 8.10:
Protheros artikel bringes også på dansk i Weekendavisen i denne uge:
Israel påstår, at man er nødt til at bombe civile områder, fordi Hizbollah gemmer sig blandt civile. Sandheden er, at Hizbollahs aktive guerilla-soldater ikke stoler på befolkningen og holder sig så langt væk fra den som muligt.
H.t. Raapil.