Oct
27
2008

Arming Lebanon

In a lengthySunday piece, New York Times reporters Robert Worth and Eric Lipton detail new U.S. plans for ramping up military aid to the Lebanese government. The piece relies heavily on quotes from U.S. and Lebanese officials, who unsurprisingly support this effort; one Israeli sourceis the most critical voice, wary of arms shipments to a regional foe.

But perhaps most bizarre is this construction (emphasis added):

An important moment for the army came in the summer of 2007, when it fought and won a three-month battle with Islamists in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in the northern city of Tripoli. That struggle, in which 168 soldiers and an unknown number of militants were killed, vividly underscored the need to re-equip the army. With no combat helicopters or precision weapons, the army had to resort to dropping bombs by hand from its Vietnam-era Huey helicopters, a hopelessly inaccurate method that resulted in the near-leveling of the camp.

Although the United States rushed them 40 loads of C-17 transport planes full of ammunition and other gear, army commanders bitterly resented the failure to provide them with more sophisticated arms.

So the evidence to support sending the Lebanese Army more weapons is the fact that they bombed a refugee camp?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.