Posted by John Stauber on August 08, 2006

On his CNN TV program, Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post interviewed Thomas Ricks, the Post's Pentagon reporter and author of the book Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. Ricks told Kurtz, "One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon." Kurtz responded, "Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of its fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?" Ricks replied, "Yes, that's what military analysts have told me." Kurtz remarked "that's an extraordinary testament to the notion that having people on your own side killed actually works to your benefit in that nobody wants to see your own citizens killed but it works to your benefit in terms of the battle of perceptions here." Ricks replied "It helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well."