False News By Omission Misinforms – Pointing This Out May Soon Be Censored


Some Israeli military official claim that Hizbullah is using Armored Personal Carriers in Syria, a correct claim, which it received from the Lebanese Armed Forces, a lie. The carriers in question are way out of date tracked vehicles and the LAF once received some upgraded ones from the United States. Israel makes these claims every once a while.

But as was reported when these claims were made on earlier occasions Hizbullah actually took such APCs from the Southern Lebanese Army which was an Israeli proxy force used during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon. When in 2000 Hizbullah finally kicked Israel out of Lebanon, the SLA dissolved and all the weapons Israel had delivered to it were taken into Hizbullah’s stocks. They have since been used to fight Israel and various Gulf states proxy Jihadis in Lebanon and Syria.

But you would not learn that from the main Israeli news organization in the United States, the New York Times. Its report makes no mention of the original source of the APCs:

TEL AVIV — A senior Israeli military official said on Wednesday that Hezbollah militants fighting in Syria were using American-made armored personnel carriers that were originally supplied to the Lebanese Army.

If the A.P.C.s passed to Hezbollah from the United States-assisted Lebanese Army, that might point to a broader leakage of weapons to hostile groups, and to cooperation between the Lebanese armed forces and Hezbollah.

The Israeli military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under army rules, showed a photograph of a number of military vehicles, including what he said were the American-supplied A.P.C.s, during an intelligence briefing for reporters at military headquarters in Tel Aviv. He said that Israel had shared this information with American officials a few weeks ago.The official did not say how many of the A.P.C.s might have fallen into Hezbollah’s hands or when or how it had happened, but he said he believed they might have been “part of a deal” between the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah.

This is obviously an Israeli smear attack against the LAF and the bits of material support with outdated weapons it gets from the U.S. It is a petty smear. Just last week Israel received two F-35 fighter planes from the U.S. and dozens more will come be delivered all paid for by the U.S. taxpayers. Meanwhile one Cessna crop duster with a minimum of military equipment was delivered to the badly equipped Lebanese Armed Forces. It is in no way a threat to Israel.

The U.S. pushed back a bit against the Israeli assertions:

John Kirby, the State Department spokesman, said on Wednesday: “When this allegation was raised in November, the Department of Defense did a structural analysis of the armored personnel carriers in question at that time and concluded that these vehicles were not from the Lebanese armed forces. Our assessment remains the same now.”

That is quoted in the NYT but there is zero mention that Israel is the real source of the APCs. Now compare that to this paragraph from an AFP report which was published at about the same time:

[L]ast month some officials noted that Hezbollah is thought to have captured armored vehicles from the defunct South Lebanon Army, an Israeli-backed Christian militia that collapsed in 2000.

A later report repeats that point:

US officials privately told Defense News that the APCs now deployed by Hizbollah in Syria were very old and could very well have come from Israeli war stocks via their former ally in Lebanon, the South Lebanese Army (SLA). When Israel abruptly withdrew its forces from its security zone in southern Lebanon in 2000, Hizbollah seized a spectrum of vehicles and weaponry left behind by Israel and its SLA proxy force.

Israel blames the LAF for alleged weapon transfers when those weapons were actually coming from an Israeli proxy force after its failed occupation of Lebanon. That is classic chutzpah or rather petty malicious smearing.

But the so called prime newspaper with the motto “all the news that’s fit to print” does not find it newsworthy that Israeli officials are making obviously false claims and sees no need to set the record straight. The “news” it prints is consciously false by omission. It is not “faked” news – none of the facts printed are outright wrong, but it is false news which misinforms the readers by leaving out relevant facts.

There is a lot of recent talk about “fake news”. Most of what U.S. government proxies claim of its various “enemies” are such. Pretty much all of the NYT’s reports about the war on Syria were and are if not “fake” then false news. But there are more sources in easy reach now for people to get informed.

The current attempts to smear such alternative sources as conspiracies or Russian propaganda peddlers is a last line fight to stop the flood of reality that will wash away the NYT, other such outlets and the “senior official” liars they serve. I expect that fight to become more vicious over the next year or two. Too much money is at risk, too much self esteem of people who love to feel important is threatened with deflation.

The question now is how these alternative and hopefully more truthful and realistic news sources will be able to protect themselves from the obviously coming attacks. Big Internet companies (which are all also Defense Department contractors) are starting to downgrade blogs and alternative news sources because they, allegedly, peddle “fake news”. Outright (cyber-)attacks are coming up.  What can be done to counter such moves?

Ideas are welcome.

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