August 2, 2006

A Hezbollah-Sponsored Trip to Haret Hreyk

A Hezbollah-Sponsored Trip to Haret Hreyk

Rasha Salti has been stringing for us ever since we found her on 3 Quarks Daily. It turns out, Hezbollah’s media team has been courting her, too.

Read Rasha’s previous dispatches here and here.

Hezbollah had organized a visit for journalists that day, as they had the day before. They provided security cover for the area for the international media cameras to document the destruction. There was a spokesperson greeting journalists. A small rotund man, dressed in a track suit, fancy sunglasses, a two-day old stubble carrying two state of the art cell phones. He spoke in concise soundbites and was affable. There was nothing menacing about his demeanor, in fact were it not for the destruction around him he looked more like he would be an assistant to Scolari (similar dress code and portend) than part of the media team of a “terrorist organization”.

The security apparatus of Hezbollah was also impressive, underscoring the identity of Hezbollah. They were all affable, welcoming, dressed casually and unarmed. They all held walkie-talkies, and when looming danger of another Israeli air strike seemed tangible, they all ushered the group of some 30 (and more) journalists to clear the area. They issued their warnings calmly and confidently.

One of the buildings was still burning. It had been shelled earlier that day at dawn. Clouds of smoke were exhaling from amidst the ravages. The rubble was very warm, as I stepped on concrete and metal, my feet felt the heat.

Rasha Salti, in an email to Open Source, July 21 2006.

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