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Sunday, August 27, 2006

What did you do in the war, UNIFIL?

We've already seen that the Red Cross helped Hezbullah in the recent war in Lebanon. Now, we see that UNIFIL did it too. And they complained when the Israelis accidentally hit one of their posts?

Hat Tip: New York Nana

DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. peacekeeping" forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.

UNIFIL--the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978--is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.

Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah "fired rockets in large numbers from various locations" and Hezbollah's rockets "were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations" are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.

This war was fought on cable television and the Internet, and a lot of official information was available in real time. But the specific military intelligence UNIFIL posted could not be had from any non-U.N. source. The Israeli press--always eager to push the envelope--did not publish the details of troop movements and logistics. Neither the European press nor the rest of the world media, though hardly bastions of concern for the safety of Israeli troops, provided the IDF intelligence details that UNIFIL did. A search of Israeli government websites failed to turn up the details published to the world each day by the U.N.

Inquiries made of various Israeli military and government representatives and analysts yielded near unanimous agreement that at least some of UNIFIL's postings, in the words of one retired senior military analyst, "could have exposed Israeli soldiers to grave danger." These analysts, including a current high ranking military official, noted that the same intelligence would not have been provided by the U.N. about Israel's enemies.

Sure enough, a review of every single UNIFIL web posting during the war shows that, while UNIFIL was daily revealing the towns where Israeli soldiers were located, the positions from which they were firing, and when and how they had entered Lebanese territory, it never described Hezbollah movements or locations with any specificity whatsoever.

Compare the vague "various locations" language with this UNIFIL posting from July 25:

Yesterday and during last night, the IDF moved significant reinforcements, including a number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, bulldozers and infantry, to the area of Marun Al Ras inside Lebanese territory. The IDF advanced from that area north toward Bint Jubayl, and south towards Yarun.

Or with the posting on July 24, in which UNIFIL revealed that the IDF stationed between Marun Al Ras and Bint Jubayl were "significantly reinforced during the night and this morning with a number of tanks and armored personnel carriers."

This partiality is inconsistent not only with UNIFIL's mission but also with its own stated policies.

Read the whole thing.

4 Comments:

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Dave in Pa said...

The answer as I see it for the next war between Israel-Hezbollah, Iran, Syria in Lebanon:

Israel should conduct Information Warfare against the websites of UNIFIL and any other UN agencies or other entities that start giving aid and comfort to Israel's enemies.

This can be done creatively. Changing web pages to give false information, thereby making all of the site's information confused and contradictory.

And if confronted with accusations from the shameless UN or any other of The Usual Suspects, Israel should take a leaf out of the UN's book and simply deny it.

Hack and Crash!

 
At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another failure in the war. Why was the sine not hacked?

 
At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PIMF. I meant site, not sine.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Gyan said...

How did UNIFIL learn of Isreali troop movements in the first place.
Is Israel obliged to inform UNIFIL of the troop movements? Even in war?

 

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