Wednesday, July 25, 2007

When Is An Occupation Not Newsworthy?

According to the ABC, when Syria occupies Lebanese land.

This article from Bret Stephens in Opinion Journal:

As of this minute, Syria occupies at least 177 square miles of Lebanese soil. That you are now reading about it for the first time is as much a scandal as the occupation itself.

The news comes by way of a fact-finding survey of the Lebanese-Syrian border just produced by the International Lebanese Committee for U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, an American NGO that has consultative status with the U.N. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, the authors have requested anonymity and have circulated the report only among select government officials and journalists. But its findings cannot be ignored.

In meticulous detail--supplemented by photographs, satellite images, archival material and Lebanese military maps predating Syria's 1976 invasion (used as a basis of comparison with Syria's current positions)--the authors describe precisely where and how Lebanon has been infiltrated.
Near the conclusion, Stephens opines:
It would also be nice to see the media report this story as sedulously as it has the controversy of the Shebaa Farms.
So how does our ABC stack up as one of the media?

A search of their website for the term Shebaa Farms yields 24 articles.

The ABC's Lebanon articles do not mention anything to do with Syria's occupation of 4% of Lebanon's sovereign land.

Looks to me like a 24-0 drubbing.

Perhaps the ABC doesn't necessarily report NGO declarations?

That rule doesn't seem to apply when it's an NGO declaration smearing Israel:
Israel, Lebanon 'ignoring war crimes'

Two major human rights groups say Israel and Lebanon have failed to act on war crimes committed during the war that broke out a year ago.

In scathing reports, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both called for an arms embargo on Israel and the Hezbollah Islamist guerrillas until steps are taken to ensure human rights violations are not repeated.
Set aside the fact that the ABC confusingly interchange Hizballah with Lebanon in the article.

It does appear that an inconsistent set of rules apply to what the ABC considers newsworthy.

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