Thursday, July 20, 2006

Propaganda Bombing in Lebanon.

A leaflet dropped by Israeli warplanes depicts Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah as a cobra snake threatening to lash out at Beirut and its northern suburbs. It reads:
"To the Lebanese people, beware: he appears like a brother, but he is a snake."
(Source NPR)

In this Reuter newsreport, a Lebanese guy calls it 'comic relief'. I guess that's all relative, isn't it? Not all the flyers are cartoons mocking Hizbollah though, others are warnings to stay away from the stronghold of the guerrilla group. That's kind of nice to warn them, isn't it? Except when - as another Lebanese guy said - people may not be able to go anywhere if there are no roads to drive on safely and no place to drive to.

Here are other examples of flyers recently dropped:
  • "For your safety and because of our desire to avoid harm to those who are not implicated, you must not be present in the areas where Hizbollah is present or operates,"
  • Another flyer urged the Lebanese people and army not to offer aid to Hizbollah. "Anyone who does is putting his life in danger"
  • "We all know from the experience of the past few days the massive strength of Israel and its readiness to use this power against the terrorist elements," read yet another flyer.
  • "The saying goes: those who sleep in graveyards have nightmares."

NOTE: This Slate article gives us some background info on "propaganda bombing". Apparently, there are many technical difficulties to make it right as the leaflet bomb reduces the effects of wind, which can easily blow leaflets away from their intended target. This problem was particularly true when the technique was first used in World War I, when many pilots made their leaflet drops by hand. The American propaganda bomb itself was invented during World War II and has been improved since then.

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