Martin Chulov’s July 12th article marking five years since the outbreak of the second Lebanon war is so anodyne in its omissions that it is positively soporific. Yes, the reader may be briefly awakened from Chulov’s Pravda-style descriptions of Lebanese construction work by the erroneous reference to Qana as a “biblical site” where Jesus “purportedly turned water into wine”, but apart from that the article tiptoes so cautiously around the issues at hand that it fails to inform its readers of anything remotely newsworthy or relevant.
“Summer has often been fighting season in the south. And in the densely wooded lands around the Litani, preparations have been made for the next war ever since the guns fell silent last time.”
That is all Churlov has to say about Hizbollah’s flagrant violation of UN SC resolution 1701 and the UN’s turning of a blind eye to the process of its rearmament. No mention of an almost four-fold increase in the number of rockets and missiles held by Hizbollah since 2006 and the doubling of its forces. No reference to the known arms stores constructed in the heart of some 270 south Lebanese villages, turning the local population into automatic human shields or the extensive system of bunkers and other military facilities.
And above all, no reminder whatsoever of from where and how Hizbollah manages to rearm right under the noses of UNIFIL: Churlov’s only reference to Hizbollah’s connection to Iranian patronage is to state that via that organisation and Amal Iran has “dispense[d] hundreds of millions in cash to Lebanese who were caught up in the war” as though the Iranian regime were some sort of benevolent charitable organization.
We may not know precisely when a third Lebanon war will break out, or what will be the incident which lights the touch paper, but we know that it will happen and that primarily it will be a war against Israel’s civilians, with Hizbollah now capable of firing several hundred rockets a day upon Israeli cities, towns and villages.
When it does commence, the next Lebanon war will come as a complete surprise to the somnambulistic Guardian reader who, thanks to articles such as this one by Chulov together with the Guardian’s disproportionate focus on the joys of the ‘Arab Spring’, remain safely and securely in the dark as regards the details of the complex internal Lebanese political situation, the rearmament of Hizbollah and the failure of yet another UN resolution to curb Iranian expansionism in the Middle East, as well as the true nature of Hizbollah itself.
Tehran itself could hardly have done a better job.